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Friday, 24 November 2017

(The Star) Malaysia-Brunei ink O&G deal

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: The Unitisation Framework Agreement was signed yesterday during the 21st Malaysia-Brunei Annual Leaders’ Consultation here.

In principle, it would finalise the percentage of Petronas revenue from four oil and gas fields by mid-2018.

The agreement was signed by Petronas and the Brunei National Unitisation Secretariat at the conclusion of the annual talks attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, at Istana Nurul Iman here.

A joint statement issued after the talks said the four fields were Kinabalu West, Maharajalela North Fields, Gumusut/Kakap and Geronggong/Jagus East.

During the discussions, he proposed Brunei to progress from the status of observer to full partner in the trilateral defence arrangement involving Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The Prime Minister said the proposal was well-received. Najib added that the annual talks also touched on the maritime border and the need to undertake a survey of the common border.

So far, only 6% of the border was covered, with 528km yet to be surveyed due to lack of manpower, he added.

Besides reaching an agreement on access to traditional fishing grounds, Najib said their talks also touched on the developments in the Rakhine region of Myanmar and the Middle East.

Meanwhile, immigration issues related to the Pan Borneo Highway were expected to be solved before next year’s talks, Najib said. The highway passes through Brunei.

He said Malaysia’s proposal to establish a new route from the capital of Brunei, Bandar Seri Begawan, to Limbang in Sarawak was well accepted by the Sultan.

Najib said the Sultan also wanted the current immigration process, which requires one’s passport to be stamped seven times for each trip across Brunei, to be reduced to only one entry stamp and one exit stamp.

He said Malaysia would propose a more applicable and secured system to ease the movement of people.

Najib said the Sultan was clearly looking forward to a smooth Pan Borneo access because his team members endured a 14-hour journey by road to reach the venue when he participated in the Sarawak Regatta last week.

The Prime Minister said he informed the Sultan that once the Pan Borneo Highway was completed, travelling time would be reduced to almost half. — Bernama