Publish - 19/08/2015

MALAYSIA and Brunei have finalised matters related to oil and gas exploration in the overlapping area in Blocks CA1 and CA2, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said yesterday.

The issue of overlapping claims of oil and gas discovery between Brunei and Malaysia was among the topics discussed between His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the Malaysian Premier during the 19th Annual Leader’s Consultation, with the Exchange of Letters the focus of the deliberation.

At a press conference prior to his departure from the Brunei International Airport, the prime minister said matters pertaining to “government take” and some technical aspects were discussed.

In an agreement signed in 2009, certain aspects of the interpretation, including the definition of government take to Brunei were finalised.

The Exchange of Letters, which was initiated between His Majesty and the then Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi, was described as a historic and momentous occasion for both nations in addressing overlapping claims both on land and at sea that reflects the two countries’ ability to reach a comprehensive, fair and equitable package solution in the interest of Brunei and Malaysia. Najib said the Exchange of Letters resolved the issue of overlapping area in Blocks CA1 and CA2, while a decision was made on the interpretation of the content of the agreement yesterday. “If, for example, there are findings of oil and gas in CA1 and CA2,” located North-West off the coast of Brunei, “there will be no problems in the division between Brunei and Malaysia,” Najib said but did not elaborate on the division. However, negotiations on equity between the two will take place once oil and gas exploration reaches commercial production stage. “The oil and gas exploration jointly undertaken by Malaysia and Brunei are in those areas where there are overlapping boundary claims,” he said. In a joint statement released after the meeting, both leaders noted the significant progress of the Brunei Darussalam-Malaysia Unitisation Joint Working Group on activities related to the oil and gas fields of Gumust/Kakap and Geronggong/Jagus East Fields as well as the Kinabalu West NAG and Maharajalela North Fields with the conclusion of definitive agreements for both areas expected to take shape by the end of the year. The partnership, it was said, is manifested through the collaboration in the Commercial Arrangement Areas, Production Sharing Agreements and in other countries such as Canada and Myanmar.

“Both leaders also encouraged both PetroleumBrunei and Petronas to continue working together to find innovative solutions to commercialise recent discoveries at the earliest possible opportunity. Efforts to realise an offshore hub are being coordinated by Brunei Darussalam’s Energy Department under the Prime Minister’s Office,” said the joint statement.

Meanwhile, the leaders also expressed satisfaction with the progress of the joint technical teams on the joint demarcation and survey of the land boundary between Brunei and Malaysia noting that progress had been made in some of the priority areas with both leaders urging their respective sides to undertake joint survey and demarcation activities expeditiously, particularly in the areas of significant interest to the people of both nations.

In the area of defence, both leaders also noted their satisfaction with the progress made in bilateral cooperation with the Prime Minister, during the press conference, expressing his gratitude for the handing over of four of Brunei’s blackhawks to Malaysia for defence perusal.

Other areas that were part of the discussion include interests in the fisheries industry, agriculture as well as tourism with the leaders encouraging their officials to collaboration in these particular, but not limited to, areas.

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