Recent Study: Bahrain Oil & Gas Report Q2 2013

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Wed May 01 2013

Bahrain has a slowly declining and small oil production base, and there is little it can do remedy this situation. This means the onus in terms of investment is firmly on the downstream, where Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) is planning to increase the capacity of the Kingdom's centrepiece Sitra refinery by approximately 100,000 barrels per day (b/d) - from 262,000b/d to around 362,000b/d. The planned expansion is expected to cost US$6bn, and HSBC and BNP Paribas have been appointed by BAPCO as financial advisers to support its bid to raise the necessary funding. Other plans envisage the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal, although this is still a long way from realisation. For the moment, the government will focus its efforts on upgrading its main refining units - the low hanging fruit in its oil and gas infrastructure portfolio.

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We highlight the following trends and developments in Bahrain's oil and gas sector:

* According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Bahrain produced only 48,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2012, which was the least produced of any Gulf country. Due to a change in historical data and to be in line with efforts to boost output at the mature Bahrain Field by 2022, we have revised our 10-year forecasts. BMI sees Bahraini oil production rising to as much as 71,840b/d by 2022, averaging 59,240b/d from 2013 and 2022. We expect oil consumption to grow to 68,230b/d.
* We expect both oil and gas reserves to decline in the period 2012-2021, pending new discoveries. Oil reserves are expected to fall to 112mn barrels (bbl) by 2021, with gas reserves falling to around 8.2trn cubic metres (tcm). According to Tatweer Petroleum, the joint venture between Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) and Mubadala Development Company, production increased by 33% in 2011 to 45,000b/d.
* Due to changes in our historical forecasts we have slightly lowered our expectations of Bahrain's gas production; we now expect that gas production will have a steady growth throughout our 10-year forecast period to 2022 and will reach 15.92bn cubic metres (bcm) in 2022 rather than 19.5bcm. Natural gas consumption is forecasted to grow in tandem to around 15.92bcm in 2022.
* Risks to our forecasts include final approval of the Sitra refinery expansion, the enlargement of the Saudi import pipeline, as well as a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal that would feed growing gas demand.

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