M’sia and Brunei ink billion-ringgit oil and gas exploration pact

By Stephen Then, The Star

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Malaysia has sealed a 40-year joint oil and gas exploration deal with Brunei which is expected to generate billions of dollars in revenue for both countries.

The deal involves two deep water blocks — CA1 and CA2 — located within the two countries’ commercial arrangement area along the Brunei-Sarawak maritime border near the Limbang division.

Petronas will also be looking into possible joint ventures with Brunei National Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (PetroleumBrunei) to explore oil and gas in a third country and the development of downstream industries.

The signing of the agreement, which took diplomatic and economic ties between the two nations to new heights, was witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah at the Nurul Iman palace in the sultanate’s capital here.
 The agreement on the commercial arrangement area came about when Malaysia and Brunei amicably resolved the Limbang land and maritime boundary issues in March last year.

Speaking at a press conference after the signing ceremony yesterday, Najib said he was pleased to see the prospects of a new working relationship between Malaysia and Brunei.

“The Sultan said he was happy with the agreement.

“ Petronas will be having an active role in the development of the two blocks. It might be given a greater role in the development of the region in time to come,” he said.

Najib said the terms and conditions of the agreement were still being discussed.

The contractors and support services for the joint exploration and production project will come from Sabah and Sarawak as well as from the peninsula.

On the progress of the boundary demarcation between Limbang and Brunei, he said a technical group was proceeding with its work and it would be meeting again next month.

Najib also said Brunei was keen to expand its investments in the development corridors in Sabah and Sarawak and in Johor besides embarking on a major hotel project in Kuala Lumpur.

“Dialogues between the relevant ministries of both countries will also be held to enhance communication linkages between Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah.

“We hope to facilitate easier cross-border travel in the three areas,” he said.

Najib was accompanied by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and senior officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, the ministry and Petronas.