Bahrain could soon have an energy agency that would focus on green power working closely with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Energy Minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza said the "super agency" would work on energy conservation.
"This agency would focus on renewable energy and conservation. It will also be used to tap solar and wind energy."
He was speaking on the sidelines of a ceremony to honour Bapco chief executive Faisal Mahroos, who has been named Man of the Year for the Oil and Gas Year, Bahrain 2011.
Dr Mirza told the GDN that a study to set up an Energy Agency in Bahrain in co-operation with the UNDP had been completed.
The minister said the National Oil and Gas Authority (Noga) was also working with the Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) to carry out projects on alternative energy resources.
"This will be one agency that will work on energy conservation and be associated with the UNDP," he said.
"But we have had an energy conservation committee for the past five years that has saved a lot of gas."
The minister further said that an ambitious master plan to develop and upgrade the Bapco refinery was awaiting approval from higher authorities and was likely to be commissioned by 2018.
"Noga approved the master plan and it will increase the capacity and improve quality making Bapco a competitive player in the industry," he added.
Dr Mirza said experts were now digging deeper - 15,000-20,000 feet - for gas reserves to complement existing production. The objective of this is to commercially develop previously untapped gas. "Tatweer Petroleum has increased its output by 50 per cent in the Bahrain Field. We are also working on the replacement of the AB pipeline (Arabia to Bahrain) set up in 1945 which will increase its capacity from 230,000 barrels per day to 450,000 bpd."
Dr Mirza added there had been nine bids from companies to set up liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Bahrain and two were being negotiated. "We are negotiating with two companies and hope to finalise the deal by June," he said.
With regard to training and development of human resources, the minister said Noga was working on a series of training and succession plans for all oil and gas companies. He said the idea was to provide opportunities to young leaders in new positions.