Bahrain: New Minister Challenged By Oxy/Mubadala Withdrawal

Bahrain’s new oil minister is faced with the withdrawal of the foreign partners at the country’s only operated oilfield.

Bahrain appointed Shaikh Muhammad bin Khalifa Al Khalifa as Energy Minister on 3 June, replacing ‘Abd al-Husain ‘Ali Mirza. He immediately faces the challenge of coping with the withdrawal of the key Awali oil field’s operators. Ambitious expansion plans at the onshore field were already fast receding into the distance and this is a further blow.

Mr Mirza had held the job since 2006, while the new minister was CEO of Nogaholding, the investment arm of Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority (Noga).

Crude output at the Awali field was 46,200 b/d in 2015, with a further 4,400 b/d of condensate according to operator Tatweer Petroleum, a JV grouping US independent Occidental (48%), Abu Dhabi’s state-run Mubadala Petroleum (32%) and Nogaholding (20%). Awali is the only wholly Bahraini oilfield: the larger Abu Safah field is shared with Saudi Arabia and operated by Aramco.


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