Bahrain, the Arabian Gulf island nation, has announced that it has discovered 80 billion barrels of oil and significant amounts of tight gas. If claims are true, it is as much as Russia’s oil reserves.
The Persian Gulf country also claimed that the find is its biggest oil discovery since 1932.
“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. The gas find is estimated at 13.7 trillion cubic feet.
According to the reports of the Bahrain official news agency, the newly discovered new oil fields might contain high quantities of oil and gas, on the country’s western coast. However, officials are yet to estimate the quantity of oil and gas discovered but reports said that field is understood to dwarf Bahrain’s current reserves.
Initial analysis demonstrates the find is a substantial level, capable of supporting the long-term extraction of tight oil and deep gas. It is a major financial boost for Bahrain, as the country is the smallest oil producer in the Gulf region.
According to the recent government statistics, it was pumping roughly 50,000 barrels of crude a day in 2014. According to United States Energy Information Administration, Bahrain’s neighbor Saudi Arabia has 266 billion barrels in reserves. The Gulf country has proven oil reserves of just 125 million barrels.
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.