The Natural Oil & Gas Authority (NOGA) is considering opening six blocks to international oil companies by early 2007. Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) is carrying outtechnical studies on the concessions. Chevron Corporation of the US and Malaysia’s Petronas were awarded exploration rights over blocks 4-6, close to the Hawar Islands, in late 2002 but later relinquished the acreage having failed to make significant discoveries. Thailand’s PTTEP is carrying out a geological and geophysical assessment of blocks 1 and 2, to the northwest of the main island. Bapco is also investing $200 million to drill nine-10 onshore gas wells (MEED 18:8:06).