Petronas in Malaysian onshore oil and gas find after 24 years

PHOTO: Petronas in Malaysian onshore oil and gas find after 24 years

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian state-owned oil and gas firm Petronas said on Friday it has made an onshore oil and gas discovery in the country after 24 years, adding to the Southeast Asian nation's efforts to lift slowing output.

The exploration arm of Malaysia's Petronas and Japan's JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration drilled 3,170 metres into the Adong Kecil West-1 Well in Sarawak state on Borneo island, Petronas said in a statement.

The well, about 20 kilometres away from the nearest city of Miri, was found to have a net hydrocarbon thickness of 349 metres. It had flow rates of 440 barrels of crude oil per day and 11.5 million standard cubic feet of gas per day, the company said.

"To-date, three discoveries have been found onshore Sarawak, namely the Miri, Asam Paya and now Adong Kecil West fields," it said.

"These discoveries prove that onshore Sarawak has the potential for more oil and gas accumulations where the Miri Field, Malaysia's first oil field, was discovered way back in 1910."

Petronas, which last month concluded a US$5.3 billion (S$6.5 billion) takeover of Canada's Progress Energy Resources Corp, has seen earnings fall as natural field depletion and operational challenges weigh on output.

Petronas data shows third-quarter 2012 hydrocarbon production in Malaysia stood at 1.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per day compared to 1.52 million barrels a year ago.

It has collaborated with Exxon Mobil Corp and Shell to derive more oil from marginal fields and help meet the government's goal of attracting $444 billion in investment by 2020.