Bahrain’s $4 billion expansion of its oil refinery will see it begin to sell and trade more petroleum products in the Gulf and Asia by early 2023, according to the CEO of state-owned oil company Bapco.
Pete Bartlett said the expansion is on track to be finalised in March, and will increase the capacity of the Sitra oil refinery by 34.8% from 267,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 360,000 bpd, he told Reuters.
Bapco, which currently receives 220,000-230,000 bpd of crude from oil giant Saudi Aramco, will import the same volume during the refinery’s expansion.
In October last year, the companies announced the launch of the AB-4, a new phase of the Saudi-Bahrain crude oil pipeline which is capable of transporting 350,000 bpd to serve Bahrain’s refinery expansion.
Non-OPEC oil producer Bahrain has around 124.6 million barrels of proven reserves and gets its oil revenue from two fields including the onshore Bahrain 50,000 bpd field and the offshore, 300,000-bpd Abu Safah field, which it splits revenues from with Saudi Arabia.
The expansion of Bahrain’s refinery may lead Bapco to focus more on spot trading, although it is unlikely to set up its own trading joint venture as other national oil companies in the Middle East have, Bartlett said.
Around 88 percent of Bapco’s refined crude comes from Saudi Arabia, while the rest is from Bahrain’s field.
However, the small Gulf country last year announced its largest ever oil discovery estimated to have at least 80 billion barrels of oil as well as deep gas resources of 10-20 billion cubic feet.For all the latest energy and oil news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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