Bahrain eyes $2bn refinery expansion
Manama, May 26, 2008
Bahrain's plans to add 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of new refinery capacity to its Bapco plant at a cost of over $2 billion, the country's minister of oil and gas affairs Abdul-Hussain bin Ali Mirza said.
The island kingdom's only refinery, Bapco has capacity of around 260,000 bpd. The expansion would increase capacity beyond 2016, Mirza told reporters.
'The next phase of investment will cost more than $2 billion,' Mirza said. 'Some units at the plant are old and need upgrading.'
The plan was contingent on obtaining increased crude supplies from Saudi Arabia, he added. A pipeline pumping 220,000 bpd of Saudi oil to Bahrain would need to be expanded, he added.
The refinery has five crude distillation units, and would like to revamp them to have just one or two large units, he said.
Bapco would also like to build a unit to convert heavy fuel oil into lighter transport fuels, he added.
Bahrain was still in talks with Iran and Qatar to import gas, he added. A committee from Bahrain would leave to Iran for a fifth round of talks on Monday, he said.
No imports would come to Bahrain from Qatar until Doha completed a study into how its gas reservoir was performing after rapid development, he added. Qatar has declared a moratorium on new projects until the study was completed.
In the meantime, Bahrain aims to boost domestic gas production to 2 billion cubic feet per day (cfd) over the next ten years from around 1.2 billion cfd now, he said.-Reuters