Malaysia’s Petronas Bahrainand the US’ ChevronTexaco Corporationare the first international oil companies (IOCs) to explore for hydrocarbons around Hawar. The IOCs signed production sharing agreements in November for blocks 4, 5 and 6, which are the first concessions to be opened since rights to the islands were ceded to Bahrain by Qatar last year. The area is thought to be rich in both oil and gas reserves (MEED 30:8:02).