By Azlan Othman
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Laila Utama Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak welcomed the signing of the Brunei Deepwater Block Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) for Block CA2 of the Commercial Arrangement Area (CAA) between PetroleumBRUNEI and its contractors.
This was highlighted in a joint statement that was issued at the conclusion of the Malaysian Prime Minister's working visit to the Sultanate yesterday.
Both leaders viewed the occasion as a significant milestone in enhancing cooperation between the petroleum authorities of the two countries.
They underscored the importance of the signing of the PSAs for Blocks CA1 and CA2 of the Commercial Arrangement Area (CAA) in carrying out the commercial arrangement aspect of the Exchange of Letters and expressed satisfaction with the progress made thus far.
Both leaders reiterated their view that there remains good potential for future cooperation in both countries, especially beyond Block CA1 and CA2, and in the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, as well as possible joint venture in a third country, in the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas, and development of downstream industries.
Recalling the 14th Annual Leaders Consultations on September 21, 2010, both leaders urged the Joint Malaysia-Brunei Darussalam Land Boundary Technical Committee to finalise and conclude the Terms of Reference and the Memorandum of Understanding on the Joint Demarcation and Survey of the Land Boundary by the end of 2010 to enable joint demarcation and survey activities to commence by the first half of 2011.
At a press conference, the Malaysian Prime Minister said he was pleased to see the dawn of a new era of the working relationship between Malaysia and Brunei.
"This (deal) will see Petronas taking an active part in the development of the two blocks. His Majesty said he is happy with the agreement. Maybe Petronas will be given greater roles in the development of the region in time to come," Dato Sri Najib said.
"In the four-eye meeting, His Majesty expressed the aspiration to widen Brunei investment in Sabah and Sarawak and in Iskandar corridor besides continuing investment in a renowned hotel situated at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre area.
"Dialogue and discussions would continue to be held at the ministry's level of both countries to enhance communications between Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak and to facilitate passage of Bruneians and Malaysians."
Meanwhile, Dato' Shamsul Azhar Abbas, President and CEO of Petronas cum Chairman of Petronas Carigali, noted the PSA with PetroleumBRUNEI for CA2 block would run over the next 40 years.
According to the joint statement, the leaders of Brunei and Malaysia took note of the progress in the discussion on the implementation of other elements of the Exchange of Letters, including unsuspendable maritime access.
In this connection, both leaders instructed relevant officials to continue following up on the implementation of the Exchange of Letters.
Both leaders earlier held a four-eye meeting at Istana Nurul Iman and discussed bilateral relations. They recalled the outcome of the 14th Annual Leaders Consultations held in Putrajaya on September 21, 2010, and reviewed the progress of the implementation of the Exchange of Letters signed between the Leaders of Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia on March 16, 2009, in Bandar Seri Begawan.
They reaffirmed their commitment to elevate the existing bilateral relations to a new stage of enhanced partnership and expressed their mutual desire for the continued and expeditious implementation of the elements agreed in the Exchange of Letters.
Both leaders recalled the signing of the Deed of Amendment of the Brunei Deep Water Block PSA between Brunei National Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (PetroleumBRUNEI) and its contractors for Block CA1 of the Commercial Arrangement Area (CAA) on Sept 21, 2010, in Putrajaya. Both leaders noted that the contractors had commenced their work.
Both leaders looked forward to the development of a strategic relationship between the two countries in all fields, especially trade and investment, energy and hydrocarbon resources, tourism, education, agriculture, infrastructure, banking, halal industry and people-to-people contacts with special focus on the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak.
Both leaders also discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern and expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the 17th Asean Summit and related summits in Hanoi, the 2nd Asean-US Leaders Meeting in New York, the 8th ASEM Summit in Brussels, and 18th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Yokohama. They looked forward to working closely with colleagues in carrying out the respective visions and commitments of the various regional processes.
Both leaders also expressed their concerns and sympathy on the impact of natural disasters affecting countries and the people around the region, in particular to the government and people of Indonesia as a result of a tsunami affecting Mentawai Island, West Sumatra on October 25, 2010, and volcanic eruption on Mount Merapi in Central Java on October 26, 2010.
Both leaders discussed ways and means of providing assistance to the victims in Indonesia. They agreed on the need to further enhance regional and international efforts in disaster relief.
His Majesty and the Malaysian Prime Minister conveyed their personal seasons' greetings and best wishes to the people of Brunei and Malaysia for a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year.
Following the four-eye meeting, His Majesty and the Malaysian Prime Minister witnessed the signing of the Production Sharing Agreement between Brunei National Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (PetroleumBRUNEI) and its contractors for Commercial Area 2 (CA2).
The agreements were signed by Azren Taib, the CEO of Brunei National Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd, and Dato' Shamsul Azhar Abbas, the President and CEO of Petronas and Chairman of Petronas Carigali.
Also present at the signing ceremony were His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, and HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade.
His Majesty and the Malaysian Prime Minister later had a luncheon. Also present were HRH Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade, and HRH Princess Hjh Masna, the Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade.
The Malaysian Prime Minister's delegation included Datuk Sri Anifah bin Hj Aman, Malaysia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Agus Salim Yusof, Acting High Commissioner of Malaysia to Brunei, and other senior officials.
Upon arrival at Brunei International Airport yesterday morning, the Malaysian Prime Minister and delegation were welcomed by Brunei's Minister of Education, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awg Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong, as the Minister in Attendance.
The Malaysian Prime Minister walked through a static guard provided by the Royal Brunei Armed Forces towards the motorcade before leaving for Istana Nurul Iman.
The Malaysian Prime Minister left the country yesterday afternoon.
- Borneo Bulletin
(14th December 2010)