Eni has relinquished its Block 1 exploration asset offshore Bahrain in the latest blow to the kingdom’s plans for an upstream revival. Eni signed up to an exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) in May 2019 and began drilling an exploration well in June 2021 with the Energy Emerger jackup rig (MEES, 25 June 2021). However, results were clearly not positive, with Eni confirming that it relinquished the asset last year.

The 2018 discovery of the Khalij al-Bahrain (KAB) multi-billion barrel offshore unconventional oil deposit had rejuvenated upstream optimism, with Bahrain looking to bring majors into its acreage. Preliminary deals with Eni, TotalEnergies and Chevron were signed, but only Eni signed up to anything concrete (MEES, 25 September 2020). And with Eni opting to walk away, momentum has once again drained, especially as Bahrain has also opted against proceeding with its KAB development plans (MEES, 20 May 2022). (CONTINUED - 139 WORDS)