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Bahrain crude reserves 'larger than estimated'

MANAMA, May 6, 2015

Bahrain has larger oil reserves than previously thought, it has been revealed.

Energy Minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza told MPs yesterday that official estimates only include the oil that can be extracted using existing technology - not all known reserves, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

Officially, Bahrain has 632.5 million barrels in reserve, but according to Dr Mirza there are still oil wells out there waiting to be tapped.

"We can't reveal the actual numbers for the country's oil reserves because huge stocks of crude actually don't exist, despite being available underground, as new technologies are yet to be found for extraction," said the minister.

"If we made our estimates public then other GCC countries offering us aid and support would question our need - but we are in need, as only 632.5 million barrels of oil are actually available.

"We will increase the reserves estimate whenever the time comes that we can get more oil out, but for now we cannot and we have to have that reflected within our national budget and spending calculations."

Dr Mirza was responding to a question by MP Mohammed Al Ammadi, who demanded during the session that all known oil reserves - whether viable or not - be included in the budget as this would strengthen Bahrain's financial state.

Under the budget approved by the Cabinet on Monday, government revenues are expected to be BD4.255 billion ($11.2 billion) over the next two years, based on a $60 per barrel forecast oil price.

Oil will therefore account for BD3.45 billion of total revenues, with the rest coming from other sectors.

Total expenditure of BD7.292 billion has been budgeted for, leaving a deficit of around BD3 billion.

Dr Mirza said 618.44 million barrels of oil were available at the Bahrain Field after 17.5 million barrels were produced last year.

In addition, there were 10.65 trillion cubic metres of gas available, with 530 billion cubic metres produced last year.

Meanwhile, Dr Mirza said 617 million gallons of water would be available in reserve by the end of next year, in response to a question by MP Abdulhameed Al Najjar on water consumption.

"The reserves will be enough for a three-day supply if we take the average individual use of 120 gallons per day," he said.

"In actuality it is 75 gallons without lost water being added, with losses calculated at 14 per cent of consumed water - which we are working to reduce." - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | Oil Reserve |

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