Industry

Industry
Bahrain’s oil industry began more than 70 years ago. Most people are surprised to learn that Bahrain was pumping oil years before Saudi Arabia began its own search for black gold.
The Standard Oil Company of California formed the Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) in 1929. Bahrain’s first well was spudded in October 1931, and oil was found in 1932 at Jebel Dukhan, or Smokey Mountain. “Well Number 1” — now a tourist site in Bahrain — produced 9,600 barrels a day.In 1936, Bapco constructed a small 10,000 barrels per day refinery, and shipping and tank facilities were built. Before long, Bapco was expanding its refining operations and began working with Saudi Arabia, by bringing in some of its crude oil.
In 1945 an underground pipeline was laid from Damman, Saudi Arabia to Sitra, Bahrain, 54 km away. At the time, it was the longest commercial underwater pipeline in the world.The seventies saw the Bahrain Government’s gradual participation in the producing and local marketing operation of the Refinery, taking over 100% of these operations in 1979. The operating responsibility was placed with Banoco, which was formed in 1976.The objective was to enable the Refinery to upgrade its main products with more environmentally friendly specifications, and to improve the production efficiency, which would ensure Bapco would remain competitive into the new millennium