Bahrain, the smallest oil producer in the Arabian Gulf, said on Wednesday it has found an estimated 80 billion barrels of shale oil in place in its biggest discovery in 8 decades.
The island kingdom announced on Sunday the discovery off its west coast, which is the first find since oil was first struck in 1932. The discovery dwarfs its current reserves. Bahrain also discovered an estimated 13.7 trillion cubic feet of gas.
“The other discovery is tight gas discovery and we’re in the final stages of evaluating it with Schlumberger and Halliburton,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s oil minister told reporters in Manama.
Bahrain’s discovery is one of the largest new finds of hydrocarbons reserves in the Arabian Gulf region. The discovery comes as a relief to the kingdom’s debt-saddled economy, where heavy borrowings by the government in recent years is expected to push the public debt to reach 100 per cent of GDP by 2019, according to forecasts by Moody’s Investors Service.
Bahrain, which was the first among its GCC peers to discover oil in 1932, prompting exploration work across the Arabian Peninsula, was also ironically the earliest to suffer from output declines.
Much of the island’s output comes from the offshore Abu Safa oil field, which it shares with its larger neighbour Saudi.
Production from the onshore Bahrain Field – the site of the first ever oil well spudded in the Gulf states – currently stands at around 50,000 barrels per day.
Source Credit: The National