Bahrain launches $1 bln energy fund

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Bahrain’s government has launched an energy fund that aims to raise $1 billion from local, regional and international investors to develop the kingdom’s energy assets, Oil Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al-Khalifa said on Thursday.

The Bahrain Energy Fund will receive its initial capital from local entities including Nogaholding, the investment arm of Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority, as well as from investment banks Osool and SICO, according to the minister’s statement.

It will invest in a range of energy projects across the downstream, mid-stream and upstream sectors, including developments in a newly discovered oil and gas resource.

In April, Bahrain said it had discovered extensive tight oil and deep gas resources off the west coast of the kingdom, estimated to contain some 80 billion barrels of tight oil resources, a form of light crude oil held in shale deep below the earth’s surface.

Bahrain, which has sub-investment grade ratings from all three major credit rating agencies, earned $4.3 billion in oil and gas revenue last year and ran a budget deficit of $2.7 billion.

The small non-OPEC Gulf oil producer, with around 124.6 million barrels of proven reserves, gets it oil revenues from two fields: the onshore Bahrain field, and the offshore Abu Safah field, which is shared jointly with Saudi Arabia.

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