Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) completed studies for a new pipeline that would link the company's refinery with the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia.
The project was estimated to amount to 350 million (SR 1,312 million), and would be completed by 2015, said Naji Ahamed, public relations manager at Bapco. Its total capacity would be 450,000 barrels a day, against 260,000 b/d before the expansion started. "This means that oil exports from Saudi Aramco to Bahrain would increase as well," he added.
Sitra refinery made some expansions to increase its refining capabilities so it would be in pace with the volumes of incoming oil. "The pipeline route had to be modified because of the housing expansion in the area, and to ensure a smooth maintenance operation of the pipeline," he said.
An agreement between Aramco and Bapco allows the former to pump 250,000 b/d of crude oil to the latter, but increasing the capacity of the pipeline and the refinery will prompt an increase in the crude oil coming from the Saudi side, upon which negotiations are currently going.
For more than 60 years, Saudi crude oil had been pumped to Bahrain via 61.5 kilometers of pipeline, of which 27 kilometers are underwater. The rest runs along the coasts of the two countries in equal distances.