Natural gas in Bahrain 2010

The Middle East is a major gas producing and consuming region. Iran is the number one gas nation in terms of production and consumption. It has an estimated 30 tcm in proven natural gas reserves giving it the world’s second largest reserves; it is surpassed only by Russia. These reserves are estimated to last over 100 years. However, due to sanctions on Iran, around 99% of natural gas produced supplies the domestic market and very little gas is exported.
By contrast natural gas production in Qatar, the second largest producer in the region, the majority of the natural gas produced is exported. Due to the development of its gas fields Qatar is now the top LNG exporter worldwide. It has a 25% share of the global LNG market. Reserves in Qatar are estimated to last over 100 years based on 2010 rates of natural gas production.
Bahrain is an archipelago in the Persian Gulf connected to Saudi Arabia via the King Fahd Causeway.
The country has one of the most diverse economies in the region. But it is still highly dependent on oil, which accounts for 60% of export receipts, 70% of government revenues and 11% of GDP. Natural gas is increasingly being explored as fuel source and feedstock for petrochemicals and other industries.
Good transportation facilities and communications make it a good location for company headquarters in the region and have resulted in the development of a financial services sector and export industry. Along with oil, Bahrain is a major exporter of aluminium and has a competitive construction industry. In 2006 Bahrain signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US.
Due to the country’s dependence on oil it was affected by the global economic downturn and funding for non-oil projects was reduced.
Bahrain has natural gas reserves of about 92 bcm, much of which is associated gas from the Awali oil field, which was previously flared.
The Bahrain National Gas Company (Banagas) captures the associated gas at the Awali oil field to supply the industrial sector.
The state owns a 75% stake in Banagas, with Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation (APIC) and Caltex Bahrain (Chevron) each holding a 12.5% stake.
All of the natural gas produced is consumed in the country’s power plants, used in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) or heavy industry.
Natural gas demand has been increasing in the country, and to meet growing production has been increasing on average by 5% annually.
A two train gas processing plant processes natural gas at a rate of 300 mcf per day to produce NGLs such as propane, butane and naphtha. The liquid propane and butane produced is sent to the Sitra port for the export market and naphtha is sent to the Bahrain Petroleum Refinery (Bapco) before it is exported.