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Bahrain discovers largest oil and gas reservesCreative commons

Bahrain government on Sunday announced that it has discovered the country's biggest oilfield in decades. According to the country's official news agency, the announcement was made by Bahrain's Higher Committee for Natural Resources and Economic Security, chaired by HRH the Crown Prince, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. 

Not much details are available on the size of the newly found reserves in the Khaleej Al Bahrain Basin, located off the west coast of the Kingdom, or on the expected date of start of production. However, it is expected that the new tight oil (which is found in impermeable shale and limestone rock deposits) and deep gas resource discovery could have a major impact on the country's financial position and supply of oil.

"Following the initial discovery of the resource, detailed analysis of the find's content, size and extraction viability has been undertaken alongside internationally-renowned petroleum industry consultants, DeGolyer and MacNaughton (Demac)", the Bahrain News Agency quoted Bahrain's Minister of Oil, Shaikh Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, as saying.

The kingdom is not energy rich like its Gulf neighbors and presently pumps about 45,000 barrels of oil a day from its Bahrain Field and shares income from a deposit with Saudi Arabia that produces about 300,000 barrels a day, according to Bloomberg data.

Arab countries hold most of the oil reserves in the world's total proven reserves. According to US Information Energy Association's data (as of 2016), United States, Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, Canada, Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Brazil are the top producers and consumers of oil-crude oil, all other petroleum liquids, and biofuels.

The financial position of the country has come under scrutiny by rating agencies in recent months. In last year global rating agency, Moody's lowered the country's long-term issuer rating by two notches to B1, from Ba2, and maintained the 'negative' outlook. Also at the beginning of March this year Fitch Ratings downgraded Bahrain by two notches.