Italy’s Eni inked an agreement with Bahrain to “study and assess the potential of some exploration and production assets” in November 2016. The kingdom’s oil minister Muhammad al-Khalifa said at Abu Dhabi’s Adipec conference on 12 November the firm has been working with Bahrain “for a full year now” and hopes it will sign up to a concession in early 2019.

Bringing Eni onboard would be a coup for Bahrain after its only upstream foreign partners, Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala and US firm Oxy, pulled out in May 2016 (MEES, 10 June 2016). Eni is stepping up its Gulf presence and is eying further assets in Oman (MEES, 16 November). (CONTINUED - 150 WORDS)