Bahrain Petroleum’s (Bapco’s) proposed $2bn expansion of its Sitra refinery will be delayed until the end of the year while the company tries to organise finance for the project.

The initial study for the refinery, located to the south of Manama, has now been completed, but no decision has yet been made in regards to a technology provider.

“We are not expecting anything to move on the [Sitra] refinery expansion until 2012,” a source familiar with the project says. “Until Bapco sorts out the financing no decisions are going to be made.”

A financial adviser and a project management consultant (PMC) were supposed to have been selected during the second quarter of 2011.

“I don’t honestly know whether it’s the current political situation that is causing the delays or it is another issue,” the source says. “But the recent events won’t have helped when it comes to finding finance.”

The refinery expansion study was carried out by the US’ Chevron Lummus Global with a view to enhancing the capacity of the Sitra facility to around 500,000 barrels a day (b/d).

The facility is an export orientated plant and exports around 85 per cent of its output. The refinery is supplied from Bahrain’s Awali field which provides around 18 per cent of the crude with the remainder being transferred via a 54 kilometre pipeline from Saudi Arabia’s offshore Abu Saafa field.