Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) has started two weeks of negotiations with international contractors to clarify bids to expand the Sitra oil refinery, estimated to cost around $5b. Under the Bapco Modernization Program (BMP), Sitra’s capacity is expected to hit 360,000b/d by adding and replacing few units, as informed by Reuters.

The project sets the construction of a new pipeline to replace an ageing 230,000b/d link and enable the country to expand the refinery’s processing capacity, which currently reaches 267,000b/d.

BNP Paribas and HSBC are advising Bapco on the project financing, which is expected to have a 18-year maturity, including a four-year construction period, Zawaya informed.

Reuters further reported that Bahrain’s vast majority of oil currently relies on the output from the Abu Safa oil field, which the nation shares with Saudi Arabia.

The state-run company’s operations cover the refining, distribution, sale, and export of crude oil and refined products.