Bahrain announced a significant new oil and gas discovery off its west coast, which dwarfs its current reserves and is the largest find in over 80 years.
“The new resource is forecast to contain highly significant quantities of tight oil and deep gas, understood to dwarf Bahrain’s current reserves,” Bahrain News Agency said, quoting Bahrain’s Higher Committee for Natural Resources and Economic Security, chaired by HRH the Crown Prince, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
The oil producer, which relies on the onshore Bahrain field, and the offshore Abu Safah field jointly shared with Saudi Arabia, did not give details of the find.
Bahrain’s Minister of Oil, Shaikh Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, said the “initial analysis demonstrates the find is at substantial levels, capable of supporting the long-term extraction of tight oil and deep gas."
The country currently pumps about 45,000 barrels of oil a day from its Bahrain Field, and it shares income from a deposit with Saudi Arabia that produces about 300,000 barrels a day, according to figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The government has with petroleum industry consultants, DeGolyer and MacNaughton (Demac), undertaken a detailed analysis of the find’s content, size and extraction viability following the initial discovery of the resource. It will reveal details in coming days.
The government confirmed that modelling and analytical studies are ongoing, led by Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) working alongside private sector partners, aimed at detailing the ultimate quantity and market value of the find.
A DeGolyer and MacNaughton spokesperson said: "Demac evaluated the reservoir and test data, evaluated volumetric and recovery potential, and provided reports documenting both Prospective and Contingent Resources. This is a project which breaks new ground for the industry."
The discovery, which is expected to support extensive, long-term downstream activities, follows a recent uplift in oil and gas exploration projects in response to a directive from Bahrain’s King Hamad to the Higher Committee for Natural Resources and Economic Security to increase exploration activities.
Last year the committee took the decision to accelerate initiatives to explore sites to the west of Bahrain, which resulted in the discovery of the resource and oil being struck in the fourth quarter of 2017.