Bahrain announces discovery of 80 bn barrels of oil

2018-04-05 08:08
Bahraini Oil Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa. (Jon Gambrell, AP, File)

Bahraini Oil Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa. (Jon Gambrell, AP, File)

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Manama – Bahrain on Wednesday announced its newly discovered shale oil reserve was estimated to contain more than 80 billion barrels, making the once-marginal oil producer potentially a major player in the market.

The amount of recoverable oil – or oil that can be extracted – is still under study, Oil Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa told a press conference in Manama.

The new field dwarfs the Bahrain Field, the country's only other oil field, which contains several hundred million barrels.

The small Gulf state currently produces some 50 000 barrels per day of crude oil from the Bahrain Field, discovered in 1932.

Manama also gets another 150 000 barrels daily from the Abu Saafa offshore field it shares equally with giant neighbour and oil powerhouse Saudi Arabia.

Sheikh Mohammed said that natural gas estimated at between 10 trillion cubic feet and 20 trillion cubic feet has also been discovered.

The new huge discovery was made in west Bahrain in what is called the Khalij Al-Bahrain Basin.

The minister said that appraisal studies are underway with the help of international oil companies to assess the quantities that can be extracted of both oil and gas.

Yahya al-Ansari, manager of exploration at national oil company Bahrain Petroleum Co. said that pumping of oil from the field is not expected for at least five years.

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