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Bahrain discovers largest oil field in decades

Discovery is expected to contain many times amount of oil produced by Bahrain's existing oil fields and large amounts of gas
Middle Eastern gas field (AFP/file photo)

Bahrain said on Sunday it had discovered the country's largest oil field in decades, located off the west coast of the kingdom, according to state news agency BNA.

The new shale oil and deep gas resource is expected to contain many times the amount of oil produced by Bahrain's existing oilfields, as well as large amounts of gas, BNA reported.

The oil discovery is the kingdom's largest since 1932, BNA said. It did not give more details on the oil reserves discovered.

The reserves were discovered during the last three months of 2017 after Bahrain intensified its search for new fossil fuel deposits, the Guardian reported. Further details of the find’s size and extraction viability will be released on Wednesday.

"Initial analysis demonstrates the find is at substantial levels, capable of supporting the long-term extraction of tight oil and deep gas," Bahrain’s Minister of Oil Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al-Khalifa said in a statement.

Tight oil is an industry term for shale oil, found in impermeable shale and limestone rock deposits, and usually requires more energy-intensive methods to extract it. 

The small non-OPEC Gulf oil producer gets it oil revenues from two fields: the onshore Bahrain field, and the offshore Abu Safah field, which is jointly shared with Saudi Arabia.

Bahrain is currently a minnow in the oil sector, ranked 57 on the list of biggest producers by the US Energy Information Administration, the Guardian said.

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