Murphy Oil block interests off Malaysia terminated

Murphy Oil Corp.’s interests in Blocks L and M off Malaysia have been terminated after resolution of a dispute with Brunei over control of the assets.

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Apr. 22 -- Murphy Oil Corp.’s interests in Blocks L and M off Malaysia have been terminated after resolution of a dispute with Brunei over control of the assets.

Murphy was informed by state-owned Petronas that the two blocks are no longer a part of the country following an agreement between Malaysia and the Sultanate of Brunei.

Murphy said its potential participation in replacement production-sharing contracts (PSCs) covering these areas is “under discussion.”

The announcement follows recent reports that the two southeast Asian countries are trying to implement an agreement made in March 2009 to establish a commercial arrangement area.

That agreement ended a dispute that erupted in 2003 when Petronas and Murphy were awarded two offshore leases, SB L and SB M. The blocks overlapped with Brunei's Blocks J and K, which had been awarded to Total SA and Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

In a recent report, the Economist Intelligence Unit noted that Brunei and Malaysia are “inching closer towards resolving their border disputes.”

EIU noted in particular that “agreement on the land border could pave the way for a deal on the maritime border that would allow both countries to benefit from the discovery of new oil and gas deposits.”

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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