Petronas will begin exploratory drilling offshore Bahrain in November, the office of the Minister of Oil, Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa, announced yesterday.
This followed a meeting between the minister, ministry officials and the Petronas' management. The technical and legal issues involved in the drilling are being finalized, the ministry said.
Petronas Carigali Overseas has set up its regional office in Bahrain. The drilling will take place in the 705 sq. km Block IV and the 842 sq. km Block VI of the Northern coastal region and in Fasht Al Adham, designated the Petronas area.
The company has retained the Bahrain Centre for Studies and Research to provide the preliminary data on the marine environment and background information on the designated areas so that it can plan the exploration in a way that will prove least detrimental to the eco-system of the area.
Rosli Boni, General Manager of Petronas Carigali Bahrain Ltd said earlier: “We expect the first phase to cost around $10 million. This will be followed up by a 24-year development and production period.” The company is completing the paper work and research such as geographic maps collation for the area to start work on schedule.
The Bahrain Government said in September that it had accepted the offers from Texaco and Petronas for offshore oil and gas exploration and production in the three licensed areas in the eastern offshore. ChevronTexaco will explore one area and Petronas will work in the other areas. The Petronas agreement was signed during the visit of the Prime Minister, Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, to Malaysia.