Bahrain is exploring the possibility of importing 365 billion liquid natural gas (LNG) standard cubic feet a year to propel the country’s industry and economic growth, a senior Minister said.
“We are working on the possibilities of importing one billion standard cubic feet of LNG a day this being the quantity we foresee as the requirement of Bahrain, in addition to the two billion cubic feet we currently produce,” Dr Hussein Bin Ali Mirza Minister of Oil and Gas Affairs in a statement said.
Dr Mirza, whose keynote address was delivered by Dr Shaikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, GM of Banagas, at the opening session of the 2nd GPCA Supply Chain Conference on Monday, said that NOGA was also considering two exploration bids for an onshore deep gas exploration project, the deep gas project would find Bahrain drilling deeper than ever before up to 6,096 metres.
“The onshore Permian Khuff formation is known to be loaded with gas accumulations and the exploration is expected to take place at more than six previously unexplored gas bearing zones. The project poses some challenges, both in terms of cost and technology required, but we are going ahead with it as we want to exploit all our options,” he added.
“As the economy in Bahrain has grown, so its reliance on natural gas has also grown tremendously. Today gas is the most valuable commodity in the Kingdom and is the life support system for all local industries, feeding many customers with their required energy needs to run their plants.”
“The country currently consumes 33.98 million cubic metres of gas per day. Gas energy is not only utilised in the power generation and in industrial sectors but is also used extensively for gas injection to maintain oil production from the Bahrain field. Since Bahrain’s gas production is not enough to meet the growing energy demand, NOGA has pursued a number of initiatives, some immediate and others medium to long term, towards increasing the availability of energy to fuel the growing needs of the country,” he said.
“Bahrain’s immediate initiative was obtaining approval for drilling eight additional Khuff gas wells at a cost of approx $ 200 million to ensure that we add 500 million cubic feet per day of gas, supplying sufficient quantity to meet additional demands over next five years until 2014.
“We are also developing a transparent system to allocate new natural gas supplies for industrial development and also setting up a fair and sustainable pricing policy to supply gas and other petroleum products to our consumers,” he said.
In addition, he said, we are looking at finding alternative supplies of natural gas to ensure sustainability over the next 40 years.
“Bahrain has taken a strategic decision in this regard to negotiate with neighbouring countries to study the potential of importing gas from them and dedicated teams have been formed to pursue this goal. Another major step in this direction has been the signing and allocation of four off-shore exploration blocks to internationally acclaimed oil exploration companies,” he said.
“The Arabian Gulf Petrochemical and Chemical industry has witnessed a tremendous rise in the last 20 years. The initiative that began in the late 1970s to add value to the gas flared at the crude well head in Saudi Arabia has become the corner stone of the extremely competitive and robust industry of today,” he said.
“The fact that the Arabian Gulf region holds 37% of the world’s oil and about 24% of the world’s gas reserves, Middle East has 56% of oil, while 41% of world gas reserves, is enough to make the GCC region in particular and the Middle East region in general, a continued focus for new opportunities in the field of advanced petrochemical and chemical products,” he added.
“The theme for the region going forward is clearly one of wider and deeper involvement in petrochemical and industrial activities; the abundant availability and attractive price of feedstock is in itself a great incentive to invest in the region’s petrochemical and chemical business and provides a natural platform for future growth,” Dr Mirza added.
“As the region acquires more partners and outright ownership in the wider petrochemical value chain, it will create more and more synergies that should support the development of downstream industries,” he said.