Malaysia and Brunei in oil dispute

Talks between Brunei and Malaysia have failed to settle rival territorial claims on oil-rich waters off Borneo island.

    Mahathir wants to settle the oil dispute before he leaves office in October

    Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad met on Friday to try resolve who should control the lucrative area.

       

    But after the meeting Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said an offer Kuala Lumpur made in May was the best proposal it could make.

     

    Sources say the May offer involved an oil production-sharing agreement.

     

    Syed Hamid added it is now up to Brunei to consider the offer.   

     

    Territorial rights

     

    "The prime minister has made it very, very clear that we have submitted our proposal and that proposal is the maximum we can live with," Syed Hamid said.

    But Brunei's UK-based advisers have warned a production-sharing pact may mean conceding Malaysia has territorial rights.

    "The prime minister has made it very, very clear that we have submitted our proposal and that proposal is the maximum we can live with"

     

    Syed Hamid Albar


    Malaysian Foreign Minister

    Brunei, a tiny nation of 330,000 people surrounded on all sides by Malaysia, lacks the muscle to back up its claim.

     

    The stakes in the dispute shot up last year after a sizeable discovery was made in a Malaysian controlled-area near the disputed waters.

     

    High stakes

     

    Preliminary estimates put reserves at 400 million to 700 million barrels.

     

    Exploration activities in the disputed area were halted earlier this year after the Malaysian navy chased off a drilling team belonging to a consortium led by France's Total.

     

    Brunei's exclusive economic zone stretches 200 km offshore, but Malaysia bases its claim on possession of some tiny islands and reefs in the South China Sea.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    From Zimbabwe to England: A story of war, home and identity

    The country I saw as home, my parents saw as oppressors

    What happens when you reject the identity your parents fought for and embrace that of those they fought against?

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    One woman shares the story of her life with polycystic kidney disease and sees parallels with the plight of the planet.

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    On a gorgeous Florida evening, a truck crashed into me. As I lay in intensive care, I learned who had been driving it.