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BAPCO to explore for unconventional oil offshore

The Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) is planning some groundbreaking initiatives to increase its hydrocarbon reserves, among them the exploitation of unconventional oil deposits offshore, reveals Yahya Al Ansari, manager of Exploration at BAPCO, in an exclusive interview with Oil Review Middle East

 “BAPCO is going to be the first to target unconventional oil offshore, and I am proud that BAPCO and NOGA (National Oil & Gas Authority) have the courage to take such a step,” says Al Ansari.  “We are confident that we’ll be successful in terms of discovery, and we have done everything possible to bring the project to the operational level – we’ve done all the studies and analysis utilising the acquired data. And as of today we have platforms in the location.  The project includes drilling and fracking - which is uncommon offshore- so it’s a big challenge.  It’s a very exciting, new project for us so we are looking forward to seeing it up and running and to getting the results.”

BAPCO’s  other ongoing projects include an onshore drilling campaign for exploration targeting the flanks of the mature Awali (Bahrain) field, and appraisal work for the Pre-Khuff gas project. BAPCO is inviting international participation in an ‘innovative’ Joint Study Agreement focusing on four offshore areas covering all of the country’s offshore acreage as well as a Technical Evaluation Agreement focusing on the onshore Pre-Khuff section, in the highly prospective Widman-North Arabian Gulf Sedimentary Basin; one of these includes the area considered the ‘unconventional sweetspot’ of offshore Bahrain. After successful completion of the study, participants will be invited to negotiate exploration agreements for one or more of the contract areas offshore Bahrain - an under explored area with just 19 offshore wells drilled between 1960 and the current day.

BAPCO is adopting an equally innovative approach in its initiatives to support exploration projects, which focuses on data acquisition or data reprocessing and re-evaluation, says Al Ansari.

“We have just finished the acquisition part of an airborne gravity and magnetics survey, using state of the art technology, namely Falcon plus - the first time it has been used in the industry. Right now we are working on processing and interpreting the acquired data which is at an advanced stage, so soon we should receive the final results and interpretations. I can’t highlight enough the added value of such data in evaluating prospectivity onshore and offshore.” 

He adds that BAPCO will soon be initiating a huge seismic reprocessing project with Largeo, to enhance data quality and imaging especially for the deeper sections, which will also contribute much to the understanding of the prospectivity of the area.

 “It’s part of our tradition in BAPCO exploration that we are open to new technologies and new ideas; that’s why we picked the latest in airborne acquisition, the latest in seismic reprocessing and seismic acquisition, and the best and newest techniques when it comes to geochemical and geomechanical analysis.“

The full interview can be read below in the latest edition of Oil Review Middle East.