Bahrain Eyes Unconventional Oil For Economic Reboot

Long dependent on Saudi largesse, Bahrain has discovered major unconventional oil and gas reserves off its western coast. The GCC’s smallest producer plans further development wells in 2018 as it seeks to emerge as the region’s unlikely shale pioneer.

Bahrain on 1 April announced the end-2017 discovery of “a new tight oil and deep gas reserve in the Khaleej Al Bahrain Basin” off its west coast (see map). Analysis of the discovery has been conducted by Dallas-based DeGolyer and MacNaughton. State news agency BNA says the reserves “dwarf Bahrain’s current reserves,” although that’s a very low bar.

Energy Minister Shaikh Muhammad Al Khalifa says the discovery has some 80bn barrels oil in place and 13.7tcf gas in place. These are huge figures, but only a fraction will end up being classified as recoverable reserves once further appraisal work has been carried out. Nevertheless, it looks inevitable that Bahrain’s reserves are set for a dramatic upgrade.


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