Bahrain has announced its newly discovered shale oil reserve is estimated to contain more than 80 billion barrels and could potentially make the marginal Gulf oil producer a major player in the market.
The reserves are located in the Khalij al-Bahrain basin, spread across 2,000 square kilometres in shallow Gulf waters off the kingdom’s west coast, state-owned energy operator National Oil and Gas Holding (Nogaholding) announced.
Tight gas reserves estimated between 10 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and 20 tcf has also been discovered at the basin.
Bahrain’s Oil Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al-Khalifa told a press conference in Manama that production from the oil and gas reserve are expected to begin in five years.
The first well in the drilling programme is planned to come online in August, and over the next two years the focus will be on maximising production and commercial efficiency, Al-Khalifa said.
An agreement had been reached with US oil field services firm Halliburton to commence drilling on two further appraisal wells in 2018, “to further evaluate reservoir potential, optimise completions, and initiate long-term production,” the minister said.
Bahrain on 1 April announced the discovery of the Khalij al-Bahrain reserve, said to “dwarf” existing assets and represent the country’s biggest find since the kingdom began oil production from the Bahrain Field in 1932.
Bahrain is expected to produce 200,000 barrels a day (b/d) from the reserve. The pre-Khuff discovery could also produce up to 1 billion cubic feet of gas a day, which is enough to fulfill local demand, a government official was previously quoted as saying in a local media report.
Halliburton and fellow US oil field services firm Schlumberger have expressed interest in developing the gas reserve, according to the minister.
Seismic studies conducted by US upstream consultancy DeGolyer & MacNaughton on behalf of Nogaholding have revealed P50 estimates of 81.5 billion barrels of light oil and 13.7 tcf of tight gas. P50 reserves are defined as probable reserves that have a 50 per cent chance of being commercially produced.
Schlumberger performed the first test well drilling, and the state-owned Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) succeeded in flowing “high quality oil from the wells during the testing and flow back phases,” according to a Schlumberger spokesperson.
“Based on the core analysis carried out on several wells the formation could be [as being] at the edge of conventional-unconventional type of plays,” the Schlumberger representative said.
Extensive work had been carried out to evaluate in-place volumes, although the amount of recoverable oil is still under study. “No budget has been set for the [exploration and production] programme yet. But the goal is to attract international oil and gas companies to develop it,” Al-Khalifa told journalists.
You might also like...
A MEED Subscription...
Subscribe or upgrade your current MEED.com package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.