Tiny Bahrain Seeks Big Increase In Oil Output

MANAMA, Bahrain (AFP)

Bahrain is seeking to increase its oil production to 250,000 barrels per day over the next seven years, the Gulf nation's oil and gas minister Abdul Hussein Mirza said Thursday.

Bahrain currently pumps 33,000 barrels a day of oil from its own field, and plans to raise that to 100,000 barrels a day in seven years after an agreement last month with U.S. oil firm Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY) and Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Development Co, Mirza said.

In addition, Bahrain produces 150,000 barrels a day from an offshore field it shares with Saudi Arabia.

Bahrain has invited foreign investors and international oil companies to bid for exploration in offshore blocs and deep-layer exploration, Mirza said.

In October, it said it will set up a company to increase oil and gas production in collaboration with Occidental and Mubadala.

Bahrain signed a memorandum of understanding in the oil and gas sector with Russia's monopoly OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS) in November 2008. It has also held talks with neighbor Iran over gas imports.

Bahrain does not export crude - only its refined products.

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