The Shura Council, or Consultative Council, in Bahrain approved Sunday an agreement between the National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) and Italian firm Eni for oil exploration and production.
The move will kick off investment in the explored reserves of oil and gas in Bahrain Bay oilfield.
The Council of Representatives of Bahrain had in November approved the agreement.
Manama plans to drill the first exploratory well during the first quarter of 2020, given that the Kingdom is facing a mounting demand for gas. Estimates show that the demand for gas doubled with the launch of new industrial projects.
Bahrain had announced in April 2018 the discovery of the Bay oilfield, which boasts the Kingdom’s largest gas and oil reserves, estimated at around 80 billion barrels of oil and 20 trillion cubic meters of gas.
In 2018, Bahrain launched a fund to invest in energy with an initial capital of around one billion dollars in participation with world, Gulf and Bahraini institutions. The fund will invest in funding energy projects that require 3-5 years to reach the production phase.