Bahrain’s economy is set to grow 6.2 percent this year on higher output from its own oil field and one shared with Saudi Arabia, the country’s Economic Development Board said.
Growth is set to accelerate from 3.9 percent last year, when oil production fell due to technical disruptions, the board said in a quarterly report on its website today. The Abu Sa’afa field saw output fall below the usual level for most of 2012 before the situation normalized in November, it said. Output from the onshore Bahrain field “progressed more slowly than originally expected” at an average of 45,000 barrels a day.
Bahrain, which began pumping oil in the 1930s and is home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, is the smallest crude producer in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. Saudi Arabia, the largest, supplies Bahrain with 150,000 barrels a day of crude pumped from their shared Abu Sa’afa offshore field and delivered to Bahrain’s refinery by pipeline.
Bahrain expects its full share of 150,000 barrels a day from Abu Sa’afa this year, while output from the other field may grow to 47,500 barrels a day, the board said. It predicts that growth will slow to 3.4 percent next year, while inflation may stabilize around 3 percent for the next two years.
Bahrain’s economy has rebounded after a slowdown in 2011, when it grew 1.9 percent amid protests that broke out as part of a wave of Arab unrest. Standard & Poor’s cited improvements in the “political, economic and fiscal situation” when it revised the kingdom’s credit outlook to stable from negative last month.