Total says significant gas find off Brunei coast

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The French oil group says it has made a significant discovery of gas off the coast of Brunei.

3 June 2008

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN  - French oil group Total says it has made a "significant discovery" of gas off the coast of Brunei, a statement monitored Tuesday on its website said.

The find is in the area known as Block B, at a depth of 62 metres about 50 kilometres from the coast, Total said.

Total operates the block with a 37.5 percent interest in association with Shell, which has 35 percent and local partners who hold the remaining interest, the French company said.

Total operates the Maharaja Lela/Jamalulalam field which produced 28,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2007. The gas is delivered to the Brunei LNG liquefaction plant.

"New gas compartments in the Maharaja Lela/Jamalulalam field have been detected and further appraisal work is necessary to evaluate them. However, this well should come onstream before the end of 2008," the company said.

Brunei is the third-largest oil producer in Southeast Asia after Indonesia and Malaysia, and the world's fourth-largest producer of liquefied natural gas, according to the Brunei Yearbook 2007, which said reserves are expected to last for at least two more decades based on current production rates.

Observers say the government has been debating how to secure its economic future amid dwindling oil and gas resources.

[AFP / Expatica]

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