Halliburton will drill two wells in 2018 to appraise how much of Bahrain’s newly-discovered oil reserves in the Khaleej Al Bahrain Basin is obtainable, News of Bahrain reported.

On April 4, the head of the financial and economic committee in Bahrain’s parliament, Abdulrahman Bu Ali said that the field has an estimated production capacity of 200,000 b/d, equivalent to 81.5 billion barrels of oil, as well as 13.7 tcf of natural gas.

Tom Quinn, senior analyst for Middle East upstream at Wood Mackenzie, said that a tight reservoir like the one in the Bahrain find would mean “a low recovery factor,” according to Energy Voice.

“A tight reservoir means a low recovery factor and only a fraction of the 80 plus billion barrels is likely to be recoverable. The oil will also be technically challenging and potentially high cost to develop,” Quinn added.

Reaching the shale formation will require hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Sadad Al-Husseini, a former executive vice president at Saudi Arabian Oil Co, affirmed that this makes the development an “economic and technical” challenge.

Al-Husseini estimates that a well in the new offshore field will cost “no less than $20 million”, compared to the cost of a single onshore shale well which is around $7 million according to a 2017 Citigroup estimate.

The new field is significantly larger that the Bahrain Field which produces roughly 45,000 b/d.