However, Sheik Isa bin Ali Al-Khalifa told the Shura Council - an appointed upper chamber of parliament - Monday that Petronas will continue a program to drill six more wells.
Petronas drilled two offshore exploratory wells at Fasht al-Adhum and Jazirat Suwad al-Shamaliah near the Hawar Islands but found no oil, the minister said.
ChevronTexaco has drilled a test well at Fasht Taghlib without success and it is planning to drill another well in first half of next year, he said.
Before this ChevronTexaco had drilled two wells in offshore blocks located north of Bahrain under an earlier contract without results, al-Khalifa said, adding that the company spent $27 million on this program.
ChevronTexaco has a long history of activity on the island as the first company to discover oil in Bahrain in 1932. And, unlike its neighbors in the Persian Gulf, Bahrain is a very minor independent oil producer.
Al-Khalifa said Bahrain oil production is running at 184,000 barrels a day currently, mostly from the offshore Abu Sa'fa oilfield, which it shares with Saudi Arabia.
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