April 2 (UPI) — The government of Bahrain said it made the largest discovery of oil ever made since the exploration in the kingdom started in the 1930s.
Bahraini Oil Minister Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Khalifa said a “substantial” oil and natural gas discovery was made off the nation’s west coast.
“The find represents the largest discovery of oil in the Kingdom since 1932, when extraction started on Bahrain’s first oil well within the Bahrain oil field,” the government said through its official news agency. “The new resource is forecast to contain highly significant quantities of tight oil and deep gas, understood to dwarf Bahrain’s current reserves.”
According to the CIA World Factbook, Bahrain holds 124.6 million barrels of oil reserves, which ranks 27th in the world.
First oil from the Bahrain oil field came in 1932 at a rate of 9,500 barrels of oil per day. At its peak in 1970, capacity was around 79,000 bpd.
Total production from Bahrain, which isn’t a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is around 200,000 bpd. Output from the Bahrain oil field started to decline about a decade ago and most of the offshore oil comes from the Abu Saafa field, which yields around 150,000 bpd.
Bahrain is nonetheless party to the OPEC-led effort to balance an oversupplied market with voluntary production cuts.
Apart from oil, Bahrain has ambitions to become a major exporter of liquefied natural gas. In 2016, it signed a memorandum of understanding with Russian gas company Gazprom to review LNG opportunities.
The government said in its announcement that a press conference is set for Wednesday to discuss details of the latest find offshore.