ShellBahrain has discovered the largest oil and gas field in the history of the small kingdom, located off its west coast.

The find, which was disclosed on Sunday by the state-run BNA agency, is estimated to be “many times” the volume of the kingdom’s only other known oil field.

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“The find represents the largest discovery of oil in the kingdom since 1932, when extraction started on Bahrain’s first oil well within the Bahrain Oil Field,” the state-run Bahrain News Agency reported on Sunday.

“The new resource is forecast to contain highly significant quantities of tight oil and deep gas, understood to dwarf Bahrain’s current reserves.”

However, full details on the size of the new light shale oil and gas find or on the expected date of the start of production were not provided.

“The discovery, which is expected to support extensive, long-term downstream activities, follows a recent uplift in oil and gas exploration projects,” the news agency said.

“Last year the [Higher] Committee [for Natural Resources and Economic Security] took the decision to accelerate initiatives to explore sites to the west of Bahrain, which resulted in the discovery of the resource and oil being struck in the fourth quarter of 2017.”

Bahrain, unlike its Gulf neighbours, is not energy-rich though the first oil field to be discovered in the Gulf and the first to start production.

It currently pumps around 50,000 barrels per day (bpd), in addition to over one billion cubic feet (28 million cubic metres) of natural gas daily.

The kingdom, which raises around 80 percent of its revenues from oil, receives another 150,000 bpd from the Abu Safa oilfield which it shares with Saudi Arabia.