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MEOG: Scrutiny surrounds US support for Bahrain oil

The decision by the US Export-Import Bank to provide a $500mn loan guarantee for a drilling campaign at Bahrain’s Awali oilfield has been met with criticism by climate campaigners.

Bapco Upstream, formerly Tatweer Petroleum Co., currently produces just 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the onshore Awali field, the site of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) first oil find in 1932. Output from Awali, also known as the Bahrain field, fell from around 70,000 bpd in the 1970s to just under half that level in the early 2000s before Tatweer engaged IOCs to reinvigorate the asset, and a return to 70,000 bpd has been touted by the company at various points in the last few years.

Last week, Ex-Im Bank voted to provide a $500mn loan guarantee to the parent firm, Bapco Energies, noting that the deal would “support approximately 2,100 US jobs in Texas and other states,” with Schlumberger set to support the project.

EXIM added that the loan would “support services contracts and goods for an ongoing gas field development program and is not expected to result in a meaningful increase in oil and gas production.”