Pasir Gudang, ExxonMobil and Petronas to develop oil and gas projects
Pasir Gudang, Malaysia ExxonMobil and Malaysia's Petronas will spend $ 1.7 bn to develop three oil and gas projects
to meet rising demand in Asia, Exxon said. The international oil giant is the country's largest oil producer, with
output of 270,000 bpd. Exxon also supplies 70 % of peninsular Malaysia's natural gas, or 1.3 bn cfpd (36.8 mm cmpd).
Gas is gaining popularity in Asia because it is cheaper and burns more cleanly than oil.
The three projects off Malaysia's east coast will have the capacity to produce 133,000 bpd of oil, and 345 mm cfpd of gas. Exxon's "production rates will remain roughly the same," said Lee Chee Fook, public affairs manager for Esso Production Malaysia, a unit of ExxonMobil. Malaysia is struggling to stem a decline in crude oil reserves, which have fallen 17 % since 1995, to 3.39 bn barrels.
The three new projects -- Angsi, Larut and a development of smaller fields linked to an existing project -- are joint
ventures with Petronas Carigali, a unit of Petroliam Nasional, Malaysia's state oil and gas company. Exxon and rivals
Shell Group and BP, the top three publicly traded oil companies, have posted record earnings over the past year due
to higher oil and gas prices, spurring their search for new reserves.
Shell and BP have said they may spend more than $ 15 bn this decade expanding oil and gas production and processing in Malaysia. The country has Asia's largest gas reserves, or 82 tcf, and is the second-biggest shipper of LNG in ventures backed by Shell, which expects Asian demand to rise 60 % in a decade.