The Kingdom of Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands with Bahrain Island, the largest land mass. Manama is the Capital and largest city of Bahrain. Bahrain Island represents about 80% of the total land area amounting to 770 square kilometers. It is located in the center of the Arabian Gulf between latitudes 25.32 and 26.20 north and longitude 50.20 and 50.50 east, near the east coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The King Fahd Causeway, opened on November 25, 1986, connects Bahrain with Saudi Arabia. It is 25km long.
Bahrain’s highest hill is Jabal Al Dukhan “Mountain of smoke,” situated at 134 m (440 ft) above sea level. With the exception of the fertile land in the narrow northern and the north-west coasts, most of the island of Bahrain is a land of rocky limestone covered by dunes of dry sand and salt. The climate is characterized by high heat and humidity during the summer, and very mild winters. The average annual temperature ranges between 20-35 ° C, and humidity between 30-85%.
Oil, natural gas and fishing are amongst the most important natural recourses in Bahrain. Bahrain was the first country in the region to discover crude oil in 1932 and the refinery operations began in 1936. At the end of 2012, its proven reserves of crude oil were estimated to be 120 million barrels; 0.02% of the Arab oil reserves and 0.01% of the world oil reserves. Its reserves of natural gas were also estimated to be approximately 92 billion cubic meters; 0.17% of the Arab reserves and 0.05% of the world reserves. Bahrain is working towards expanding its exploration of energy sources, promoting its production of oil, gas and petrochemicals through eight companies, most notably the Bahrain Petroleum Company Bapco, founded in 1929.
The oil sector is Bahrain’s main source of income where the production of Bahraini crude oil reached 198 thousand barrels per day (about 0.8% of the Arab production) in 2013. 48 thousand barrels per day come from the Bahrain Field and 150 thousand barrels from the joint Abu Safa offshore field between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The Bahrain Refinery refines more than 274 thousand barrels per day. Bahrain imports the rest of its oil needs from Saudi Arabia. Its natural gas production reaches 1.9 billion cubic feet per day. Bahrain has succeeded in diversifying its sources of income by establishing various sophisticated projects in the extractive and manufacturing industries, and in the services and financial sectors.
Because of climate conditions and the location of Bahrain under the poverty belt of water, the arable land in Bahrain is 6.4 thousand hectares, approximately 9% of the total land area. According to 2010 statistics, the number of agricultural holdings was 1100, accounting for 55% of this area. Bahrain’s territorial waters are 7499 square meters. It is historically famous for fishing and pearling and produces annually 16.3 thousand tons of fish.
Bahrain has always tried to achieve self-sufficiency in its agricultural and livestock productions. According to 2008 statistics, its estimated self-sufficiency in dates was more than 96%, in fish 90%, in white meat 21%, in eggs 43%, in milk and dairy products 41%, in vegetables 19%, and in green fodder 85%. Bahrain imports most of its fruits and red meat, and all of its wheat.