Bahrani Minister of Oil and Gas Affairs and Chairman of National Oil and Gas Authority Dr Abdul Hussain bin Ali Mirza called for increased investment in well control to prevent serious accidents such as the Macondo incident, which has “tarnished” the image of oil companies.
“One can, therefore, see that the upstream sector of the oil industry in Bahrain is extremely active for a small country like ours, and with the BP incident in the Gulf of Mexico still very fresh in our minds, the topic of well control is very relevant to us, and for any other country looking at energy as a vital income generator,” said Dr Mirza.
Dr Mirza made his remarks as he opened the IADC Well Control Middle East 2010 conference in Bahrain last week. The Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) was Platinum Sponsor for the event.
“We know from experience that inadequate measures to provide effective oil well control can result in well blowout and cause serious damage, injury or death, as in the case of the Macondo catastrophe which occurred in April this year causing the deaths of some precious lives and the loss of billions of US dollars and tarnished the image of oil companies,” said Dr Mirza.
Regarding the conference, His Excellency noted that commissioning of deep rigs is a challenging task and calls for specific expertise.
“I hope that the information shared here today by professionals and businesses in the drilling industry will advance the collective knowledge of the group,” remarked Dr Mirza. “It is very encouraging to notice that even as the industry recognizes technology and regulatory compliance as focal points, there is an increased tendency to acknowledge the critical impact of leadership and human resources on well control and safety.”
His Excellency also gave an overview of recent developments in the Bahrain oil sector, commenting that current development programs will in the next decade result in the largest investment in oil and gas that has ever been made in the country. Tatweer Petroleum, a joint venture company comprising Occidental, Mubadala and the Oil and Gas Holding Compay of Bahrain, began operations in December 2009. Tertiary recovery techniques will be used to deliver the target production and hitherto uneconomic zones of heavy crude oil will be exploited.
Over the 20-year life of the DEPSA agreement, according to Dr Mirza, Tatweer is expected to drill more than 3,500 new development wells. While Tatweer activity is related to onshore fields, there is also significant activity taking place in the four offshore blocks around Bahrain.