Drilling of first exploration oil well in Block 1 begins

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Manama, June 23 (BNA): The National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) announced the commencement of drilling of the first exploratory well in Offshore Block 1, an area of over 2,800 km2 situated in the northern territorial waters of Bahrain with a water depth ranging from 10m up to 70m.

This came as part of the Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement signed on May 1, 2019 between the Kingdom, represented by NOGA, and the Italian company Eni.

Oil Minister Shaikh Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa praised the wise guidance and unlimited support of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, as well as the prominent role of the Higher Committee for Energy and Natural Resources chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, which aims to develop energy sources and support the national economy.

The minister highlighted the close relationship with Eni,  noting that the company is one of the largest international companies with sizeable experience using advanced technologies and highly qualified personnel in the field of drilling and exploration and that  the drilling of the exploratory well is one of the most important steps in investing in the Kingdom’s offshore natural resources.

Shaikh Mohamed said that Eni had previously completed environmental surveys of the seabed, which are prerequisites to drilling operations. 

He stressed that drilling operations could possibly take several months as exploration projects require several attempts, time, effort, and continuous coordination with a number of specialized international companies in order to achieve the desired economic goals.

The minister pointed out that Tatweer Petroleum had carried out a set of advanced geological and geophysical surveys as well as drilling experimental exploratory wells, the resulting data of which contributed to increasing the probability of finding oil and gas in the offshore blocks. 

“Tatweer Petroleum completed all technical and logistical preparations and procedures to open the door for investment in Offshore Blocks 2, 3, and 4 to major international oil companies,”he said. 

“To attract such specialized international companies to sign Exploration and Production Sharing Agreements. Additionally, Tatweer Petroleum participates in international forums in the oil and gas sector in order to meet specialized international companies to showcase investment opportunities in the Kingdom of Bahrain.”

The agreement noted that Eni is committed to drilling this exploratory well and carrying out a number of geological studies. In the event that encouraging results are reached, the company may move to the later stages of the agreement, which may include conducting geological and seismic surveys, as well as drilling additional wells in  Offshore Block 1.