Brunei-Malaysia Border Resolution

Today, all the newspapers would be reporting about the press release issued by Malaysia's Foreign Affairs about the resolution of the martime border dispute between Brunei and Malaysia. I got this Reuters report released yesterday:-

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 (Reuters) - Malaysia and Brunei will sign an agreement this weekend to resolve a maritime border dispute that has halted oil exploration off Borneo island for six years, Malaysia's Foreign Minister said in a statement.

Both countries have agreed to collaborate in the exploration and exploitation of contested oil blocks, as well as on maritime and land boundary demarcation.

The agreement is contained in a "package solution" that will be signed by the leaders of both countries during Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's visit to Brunei from March 15-16.

"The solution of the issues ensures certainty with regard to sovereign rights and jurisdiction on the continental shelf and the Exclusive Economic Zone of both countries," said Malaysia's Foreign Minister Rais Yatim in a statement released Friday.

"At the same time, the overlapping maritime claims between the two countries are also resolved," added Rais. The row, which stopped deepwater exploration in the area, erupted in 2003 when Malaysia and Brunei awarded production-sharing contracts to four overlapping deepwater exploration blocks in the South China Sea.

The four blocks are close to where a 440 million-barrel discovery had been made the year before.

Malaysian state oil firm Petronas [PETR.UL] awarded its two blocks to U.S. oil firm Murphy Oil (MUR.N). Brunei awarded one of its blocks to France's Total (TOTF.PA), BHP Billiton (BLT.L) (BHP.AX) and Hess Corp (HES.N), and the other to Shell (RDSa.L), Mitsubishi (8058.T) and ConocoPhillips (COP.N).

A government source familiar with the matter said the agreement aims for a collaboration between both countries in the exploration and exploitation of oil resources.

The source said the agreement also addresses some issues relating to the overlapping exploration blocks, but declined to provide further details. (Reporting by Razak Ahmad; Editing by Ben Tan)

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Alhamdulillah. I certainly look forward to the signing. That would take a load of our mind with regard to Brunei's future income.

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