Bahrain could consider selling off oil and gas assets

The country is working on the project and may decide to proceed with it later this year

Bapco, Ipo, Saudi Aramco, Mohamed bin khalifa al khalifa

Bahrain is set to move some of its energy assets into a state-run fund and sell shares to investors as the kingdom seeks to balance its budget.

The country is working on the project and may decide to proceed with it later this year, Oil Minister Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said in an interview with Bloomberg.

After Saudi Arabia sold a stake in national oil company Saudi Aramco last year, “nothing is not for sale anymore,” Al Khalifa told the newswire.

Falling oil prices since 2014 have pushed the Gulf countries to open up to foreign investors to try to boost state income.

Bahrain’s deficit narrowed in 2019 to 4.7% of economic output from 6.3% a year earlier, the Finance Ministry said last month.

The proposed fund and the sale of a stake in it would serve as “a channel for private investors to come in, which they haven’t really done in the oil and gas sector in Bahrain,” Al Khalifa told Bloomberg.

The government is monitoring test wells for oil production at the Khaleej Al Bahrain shale oil and gas deposit discovered in 2018, while gas is in early development there, he said.

The Bahrain ministry plans to organise a roadshow later this year to invite international oil companies to sign deals to produce at three new offshore gas blocks, he added.

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