Bahrain’s economic growth slowed to 2.7% year-on-year in 4Q12, according to statistics released by state-run Central Informatics Organization. Full year GDP growth for 2012 was pegged at 3.4%. Most of the decline in 4Q12 was due to lower production at the offshore Abu Sa’fa field, which produces about 300,000 b/d. The field is shared 50:50 with Saudi Aramco; the crude from this field is produced and marketed by Saudi Aramco, with Bahrain receiving half the revenue.

The value of Bahrain’s hydrocarbon sector production fell by around 7% year-on-year, reducing its contribution to GDP from 28% in 2011 to just 25% in 2012. While the country’s hydrocarbon sector underperformed in 2012, the financial and real estate sectors rebounded slightly following a year of decline due to political unrest. The real estate sector meanwhile has yet to reach pre-2011 levels – when it contributed BD150mn ($396mn) to the economy – real estate’s contribution to GDP grew by more than 4% year-on-year in 2012 to total about BD146mn ($385mn). The island’s economic performance was undermined in 2011 – when GDP growth fell to a mere 1.8%, according to IMF estimates – by political unrest and resultant weakness in the financial, tourism and real estate sectors. The Awali oil field, which is Bahrain’s only onshore field, represents about 22% of Bahrain’s total production. Tatweer Petroleum (owned by Nogaholding, Mubadala and Occidental) took over the Awali field’s production in 2009. Tatweer is experimenting with enhanced oil recovery to boost production from about 45,000 b/d in 2013 to 100,000 b/d by 2020, but is facing difficulties (MEES, 22 March). (CONTINUED - 251 WORDS)