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Bahrain's $1 billion energy fund opens oil and gas projects to private investors

Bahrain Business
Fri, 11 May 2018
By Avinash Saxena

MANAMA: The Bahrain Energy Fund, the first of its kind in the GCC, will seek to raise a total of $1 billion from institutional investors wanting to access local oil and gas projects, Oil Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa announced yesterday as the first Gateway Gulf Investor Forum drew to a close.

The fund will receive initial seed capital from entities in Bahrain, including nogaholding, Osool and Sico and will be open to investors in Bahrain, the GCC and internationally.

It will invest in a range of energy projects in Bahrain across the downstream, mid-stream and upstream sectors, which includes developments in the newly-discovered oil and gas resource.

Some of the projects are at an advanced stage of development enabling a rapid deployment of capital.

As well as providing investors with access to a highly attractive asset class, the fund will also introduce private capital to help fund major infrastructure in Bahrain and enhance development of vital energy projects.

It will also benefit from Bahrain’s status as a regional financial hub in developing the fund’s structure and attracting investment.

Commenting on the launch of the fund, Shaikh Mohammed said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of the Bahrain Energy Fund – a real innovation for the region. For the first time, institutional investors will have the opportunity to gain access to energy assets.

“These are exciting opportunities at an advanced stage of development, giving us the opportunity to deploy capital rapidly and generate returns for investors, while also accelerating the development of vital infrastructure projects in Bahrain.”

Last month, Bahrain announced the discovery of a new tight oil and deep gas resource in the Khaleej Al Bahrain Basin, located off the west coast of the kingdom.

With estimates of at least 80bn barrels of tight oil and deep gas reserves in the region of 10-20 trillion cubic feet, the find represents the largest discovery in the kingdom since 1932, when extraction started on Bahrain’s first oil well.