DUBAI, April 22 (Reuters) - Bahrain’s state-owned Tatweer Petroleum said it would sign agreements within a few weeks with Italian oil major ENI and Japan’s JX Nippon to develop the Bahrain field.
Tatweer was also in talks with JX Nippon Oil and Gas Exploration Corporation for enhanced oil recovery development in part of the Bahrain field reservoirs, Tatweer Chief Executive James Kenneth Eastlack said, adding that he hoped the Japanese firm would submit a proposal for two or three projects soon.
“We expect to sign an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) with ENI within the next two weeks on offshore Block One,” Eastlack told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Tatweer had been producing about 43,000 barrels per day (bpd) and expected to continue at that level in 2019, he said, adding that it was expected to rise to 44,000 bpd in 2020.
Bahrain said last year it had discovered its largest oil and gas find since 1932 off its west coast, estimated to contain at least 80 billion barrels of tight oil, also known as shale oil. Bahrain has said it has been talking to U.S. oil firms with expertise in extracting shale oil, using techniques such as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Eastlack said he had visited Houston, Texas to discuss potential investment opportunities in Bahrain.
“Several companies expressed keen interest during our Houston meetings, and there will be a follow up in the next six to eight months,” Eastlack said.
Tatweer had hired Citibank to help share data in order to market prospects for the new field, he said.
The first of two test wells is expected to start flowing by mid-summer, slightly later than the original target at the end of April.
Bahrain, a small oil producer, with about 124.6 million barrels of proven reserves, earns revenues from two fields, the onshore Bahrain field and offshore Abu Safah field, which is shared with Saudi Arabia.
Reporting by Dahlia Nehme Editing by Edmund Blair