Bahrain has discovered the largest oilfield off the west coast of the country; the BNA state news agency reports. On Sunday the news agency reported that the light shale gas and oil resource is the largest discovery in Bahrain since 1932. More details about the discovery are expected to emerge in the following days.
The discovery could have a major impact on the financial position of the country which has in recent months been under scrutiny by credit rating agencies.
The country relies on an oilfield that it shares with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Abu Safa oilfield, for most of its oil.
Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa the Crown Prince who chairs Bahrain’s Higher Committee for Natural Resources and Economic Security said that the new resource is predicted to contain highly significant quantities of deep gas and tight oil, and is understood to dwarf the current reserves of the country. He said that following the initial discovery of the resource, detailed analysis of the content of the find, size and the viability of the extraction has been undertaken.
To assess the find, the country is working with petroleum industry consultants Demac.
The National Oil and Gas Authority is conducting modeling studies aimed at quantifying the size and value of the discovery.
A spokesperson of DeGolyer and MacNaughton (Demac) said that the company evaluated the reservoir and test data, evaluated volumetric and the potential of recovery, and provided reports documenting both prospective and contingent resources.
The find which is expected to support extensive, long-term downstream investment, follows an uptick in the exploration of oil and gas in the Kingdom.
The government said that last year it accelerated the sites of exploration to the west of the Kingdom, which resulted in the discovery of the resource and oil being struck in the fourth quarter of last year.
Bahrain’s Ministry of Oil of is due to unveil more details on the find this week, which includes the initial findings of the size and the viability of extraction.
The Kingdom has been among the most exposed of Gulf States to a sustained reduction in oil prices globally since mid-2014.
The oil revenue the Kingdom needs in order to balance its budget is higher than other Gulf crude exporters.