Bahrain says a newly-discovered oil field contains up to 80bn barrels of tight (or shale) oil, dwarfing the Gulf island kingdom’s current reserves.
Appraisals of the offshore Khaleej Al Bahrain basin by two US firms also suggest the presence of 280bn to 560bn cubic metres of natural gas.
Oil Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said it was not yet known how much oil could be extracted.
But it could turn Bahrain into a major player in the global market.
Officials expect extraction from the oil field to begin within five years, according to Bahrain’s national news agency.
Before the discovery, Bahrain had proven crude reserves of just 125m barrels and 92bn cubic metres of natural gas.
By comparison, neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, has 266bn barrels of proven reserves. Qatar, the top exporter of liquefied natural gas, has 24tn cubic metres of gas.
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SOURCE: BBC News