Malaysia and Brunei will soon enter into joint exploration for oil and gas in potentially lucrative deposits in the South China Sea along the joint maritime boundaries shared by Sarawak and the sultanate.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak and his Brunei counterpart Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on Tuesday held a four-eyed meeting at the palace here and both agreed that the pace of commercial exploitation for oil and gas along the shared boundaries should be hastened.
At a press conference after the meeting Najib said Malaysia and Brunei will negotiate how much equity each will be getting once the oil and gas exploration reaches the commercial production stage.
"The oil and gas exploration jointly undertaken by Malaysia and Brunei are in those areas where there were overlapping boundary claims before.
"The issues on the boundary claims have been resolved generally," he said.
In a joint statement issued after their 19th annual leaders consultation, both expressed the desire to see the speedy commercialisation of recently discovered new oil and gas fields in the commercial arrangement areas.
"The two leaders are satisfied with the progress made by PetroleumBrunei and Petronas in the oil and gas exploration collaboration.
“The two had signed production sharing agreements in the commercial arrangement areas.
"They have also entered into joint ventures in Canada and Myanmar.
"Both leaders encourage PetroleumBrunei and Petronas to find innovative solutions to commercialise recent discoveries in the commercial arrangement areas and to realise the building of an offshore hub being coordinated by the Brunei Energy Department in the Prime Minister's Department.
"They hope that by the end of 2015 there will be definitive agreements for the Gumusut/Kakap and Geronggong/Jagus East fields and the Kinabalu West NAG and Maharajalela North fields," said the statement.
Najib and the sultan are also satisfied with the progress made on the joint demarcation and border survey of the land boundary shared by Sarawak's northernmost division of Limbang and Brunei.
The two leaders also agreed to enhance cooperation in security, cross border travel, education, finance and other important sectors between Sarawak and Brunei and Sabah and Brunei.