Bahrain's National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA), alongside international consultants DeGolyer and MacNaughton, Halliburton, and Schlumberger, have provided new details on the Kingdom's largest ever discovery of oil and gas, with tight oil amounting to at least 80 billion barrels.

The discovery, made within the 2,000 km2 Khalij Al-Bahrain Basin, is located in shallow waters off the Kingdom's west coast, close to a fully-operational oil field with ready-to-connect-to facilities, according to Halliburton, who added that this unique factor provides potential for significant cost optimization.

A separate discovery of significant gas reserves in two accumulations below Bahrain's main gas reservoir has been confirmed.

Extensive work has already been carried out to evaluate in-place volumes. The first well in the drilling program is planned to produce in August, and over the next two years focus will be given to maximizing production and commercial efficiency.

Announcing the size and content of the discovered resources, Bahrain's Minister of Oil, Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, said: “DeGolyer and MacNaughton's and Haliburton's independent appraisals have confirmed NOGA's find of highly significant quantities of oil in-place for the Khalij Al Bahrain, with tight oil amounting to at least 80 billion barrels, and deep gas reserves in the region of 10-20 trillion cubic feet.

“Agreement has been reached with Halliburton to commence drilling on two further appraisal wells in 2018, to further evaluate reservoir potential, optimize completions, and initiate long-term production," the Minister added.

“Oil in place of 80 billion barrels is based on a P50 resource estimate," said DeGolyer and MacNaughton Senior Vice president, Dr. John Hornbrook, speaking at the press conference. Dr Hornbrook added that “the discovery breaks new ground for the Bahrain oil and gas industry using established technologies."

Positive test well results have successfully demonstrated the productivity of the significant resource, with Schlumberger, who performed the first test well drilling, adding that Bapco has already succeeded in flowing high-quality oil from the wells during the testing and flow back phases. “Based on the core analysis carried out on several wells the formation could be classified at the edge of the conventional-unconventional type of plays," a Schlumberger spokesperson noted.

Bapco Chief Exploration Geologist in charge of the discovery, Mr. Yahya Alansari, added that “the presence of a layer with moderate conventional reservoir properties on top of an organic-rich source rock creates a unique self-sourcing and trapping system, enhancing production and economic viability. The confirmation of this significant resource highlights the vast E&P (exploration and production) potential and opportunities in Bahrain."

The newly-discovered resource, which officials expect to be 'on production' within five years, is expected to provide significant and long-term positive benefits to the Kingdom's economy – both directly and indirectly through downstream activities in related industries.

NOGA added that the next stage of development will focus on ensuring robust frameworks, data and terms are in place to facilitate further activities and commercial opportunities with international partners.

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