Bahrain: Largest rock oil field discovered in country's history

Bahrain announced on Sunday the discovery of a large supply of light rock oil estimated to be much larger than the Bahrain field in addition to the discovery of large quantities of deep gas.(Shutterstock)
Updated 01 April 2018
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Bahrain: Largest rock oil field discovered in country's history

LONDON: Bahrain has discovered the country’s biggest oilfield in decades, located off the west coast of the country.
The light shale oil and gas resource represents the largest discovery in the country since 1932, the BNA state news agency reported on Sunday. Further details on the find are expected to emerge on Wednesday at a press conference in Manama.
It could have a major impact on the country’s financial position which has come under scrutiny by ratings agencies in recent months.
Bahrain relies on the Abu Safa oilfield, which it shares with Saudi Arabia, for most of its oil.
“The new resource is forecast to contain highly significant quantities of tight oil and deep gas, understood to dwarf Bahrain’s current reserves,” said Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, who chairs Bahrain’s Higher Committee for Natural Resources and Economic Security.
“Following the initial discovery of the resource, detailed analysis of the find’s content, size and extraction viability has been undertaken.”
Bahrain is working with petroleum industry consultants, DeGolyer and MacNaughton (Demac) to assess the finds.
“Today we announce that initial analysis demonstrates the find is at substantial levels, capable of supporting the long-term extraction of tight oil and deep gas,” the statement said.
Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) is conducting modeling studies aimed at quantifying the size and value of the find.
A DeGolyer and MacNaughton spokesperson said: “Demac evaluated the reservoir and test data, evaluated volumetric and recovery potential, and provided reports documenting both prospective and contingent resources. 
“This is a project which breaks new ground for the industry.”
The discovery, which is expected to support extensive, long-term downstream investment, follows an uptick in oil and gas exploration in the Kingdom.
Last year the government accelerated exploration of sites to the west of Bahrain, which resulted in the discovery of the resource and oil being struck in the fourth quarter of 2017, it said.
Bahrain’s Ministry of Oil is due to reveal more details on the discovery this week, including initial findings of size and extraction viability.
Bahrain has been among the most exposed of the Gulf states to a sustained decline in global oil prices since mid-2014.
Its breakeven oil price, which is the oil price it needs in order to balance its budget, is higher than other Gulf crude exporters.
In November, Fitch Ratings revised Bahrain’s outlook to ‘negative’ from ‘stable,’ citing the challenges the government faced in tackling the deficit.
Moody’s said in September that Bahrain was among the “most exposed” to the ongoing diplomatic row between Doha and some of its Gulf neighbors.


British Steel collapses, threatening thousands of jobs

Updated 22 May 2019
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British Steel collapses, threatening thousands of jobs

LONDON: British Steel Ltd. has been ordered into liquidation as it struggles with industry-wide troubles and Brexit, threatening 5,000 workers and another 20,000 jobs in the supply chain.
The company had asked for a package of support to tackle issues related to Britain’s pending departure from the European Union. Talks with the government failed to secure a bailout, and the Insolvency Service announced the liquidation on Wednesday.
“The immediate priority following my appointment as liquidator of British Steel is to continue safe operation of the site,” said David Chapman, the official receiver, referring to the Scunthorpe plant in northeast England.
The company will continue to trade and supply its customers while Chapman considers options for the business. A team from financial firm EY will work with the receiver and all parties to “secure a solution.”
“To this end they have commenced a sale process to identify a purchaser for the businesses,” EY said in a statement.
The government said it had done all it could for the company, including providing a 120 million pound ($152 million) bridging facility to help meet emission trading compliance costs. Going further would not be lawful as it could be considered illegal state aid, Business Secretary Greg Clark said.
“I have been advised that it would be unlawful to provide a guarantee or loan on the terms of any proposals that the company or any other party has made,” he said.
Unions had called for the government to nationalize the business, but the government demurred.
The opposition Labour Party’s deputy leader, Tom Watson described the news as “devastating.”
“It is testament to the government’s industrial policy vacuum, and the farce of its failed Brexit,” he said in a tweet.
The crisis underscores the anxieties of British manufacturers, who have been demanding clarity around plans for Britain’s departure from the EU. Longstanding issues such as uncompetitive electricity prices also continue to deter investment in UK manufacturing, said Gareth Stace, the director-general of UK Steel, the trade association of the industry.
“Many of our challenges are far from unique to steel — the whole manufacturing sector is crying out for certainty over Brexit,” Stace said. “Unable to decipher the trading relationship the UK will have with its biggest market in just five months’ time, planning and decision making has become nightmarish in its complexity.”
Greybull Capital, which bought British Steel in 2016 for a nominal sum, said turning around the company was always going to be a challenge. It praised the trade union and management team, but said Brexit-related issues proved to be insurmountable.
“We are grateful to all those who supported British Steel on the attempted journey to resurrect this vital part of British industry,” it said in a statement.