Oil and Gas Bahrain


Unlike its neighbours in the Gulf, the Kingdom of Bahrain is a minor oil producer, with only 124.6 million barrels of proven reserves. The country’s oil is developed largely by key state players such as Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco), National Oil and Gas Authority and its investment arm, Nogaholding. With such small reserves, Bahrain began diversifying and liberalising its economy in the 1970s and now boasts developed non-hydrocarbons sectors such as Islamic banking, tourism, and construction, as well as refined infrastructure.

The government still relies on oil and gas for roughly 86% of its revenues. Of these revenues, roughly 80% come from the 300,000-bopd Abu Safa offshore oilfield, which is owned and operated by Saudi Aramco but from which 50% of the revenues are transferred to Bahrain. The remaining 20% comes from Bahrain’s only oilfield, Awali, which reached record production levels in June 2015, producing some 56,000 bopd. Bahrain’s domestic consumption of oil has doubled from 25,000 bopd in 2001 to 50,600 bopd in 2015.
On December 10, 2016, Bahrain pledged to cut around 10,000 bopd from its production in 2017 in order to beef up oil prices.

Bahrain is taking a series of steps to expand its capacity to produce and refine oil and gas. Nogaholding is also investing heavily in the oil industry. In March 2016, Nogaholding announced it had signed a USD 570-million Murabaha [kind of Islamic financing structure] financing facility, which will serve to fund oil and gas projects such as Bahrain’s newbuild LNG terminal. Other projects include the expansion of Bahrain’s Sitra refinery from its current level of 267,000 bopd to 360,000 bopd. Sitra currently refines 250,000 bopd from Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq processing facility, which is fed by the Arabia-Bahrain (AB) pipeline. Saudi Aramco is currently replacing the old AB pipeline with a new one that will expand capacity from 230,000 bopd to 350,000 bopd and appears on a schedule to open in 2017.

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