Gazprom set to enter Bahrain's oil and gas sector

Oct 28, 2010 12:00 AM

Russian energy giant Gazprom is to enter the oil and gas sector in Bahrain, Oil and Gas Affairs Minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza announced.

A mutual co-operation agreement signed between Gazprom and National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) means the company would export natural gas to Bahrain as well as engage in oil and gas exploration in the country.

Dr Mirza, who was in the Russian capital Moscow, said that there were several other projects Gazprom and the authority were looking into to work together on. "Details of these will soon be finalised," he told. "Gazprom will initially start exporting natural gas and other forms of gas to Bahrain. We could also, in the long run, look at setting up a pipeline between the two countries."

Dr Mirza, who is also NOGA chairman, said the company was "very interested" in drilling for gas in Bahrain. "We have plans to drill deeper than ever before for gas and expertise of well-known companies could come in handy," he said. The minister had earlier said they plan to drill up to a depth of more than 15,000 feet in the search for gas. However, he said discussions now had focussed mainly on the import of gas.

Dr Mirza, who was on a four-day visit in Russia, said he and his delegation had a very fruitful meeting with Gazprom chief executive officer Alexei Miller. Bapco chief executive Faisal Al Mahroos and other NOGA officials were also present. "We spoke about the prospects of bilateral co-operation in energy and in the implementation of joint projects in the oil and gas industry," he said.

A Gazprom official confirmed the company was looking at the prospects for bilateral co-operation in the energy sector. "Special attention is being given to the interaction between Gazprom and NOGA in the oil and gas projects in Bahrain," said Dr Mirza. Bahrain National Gas Company general manager Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa announced that Bahrain planned to drill eight gas wells at a cost of $ 200 mm to meet additional gas demand in the country. He said this would be done to meet additional demands over next five years.

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