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

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.