|Subject: Brunei, Manila Join Oil Search In
Brunei, Manila Join Oil Search In Timor-Leste
Bandar Seri Begawan - Friendly relations between Brunei Darussalam and the Philippines have been further enhanced with a recent agreement between the two countries' to jointly develop oil and gas resources in Timor-Leste.
Last week, Philippines Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla told foreign media agencies that Timor-Leste officials approached both Philippines and Brunei on the sidelines of the recent Asean Summit in Cebu, to invite them in exploring oil in the former Indonesia-occupied country, an offer which both parties decided to accept. "The energy minister of Brunei and I were able to agree that we will take up East Timor's offer for us to jointly develop oil and gas resources in East Timor," Lotilla told reporters.
Lottila emphasised that while a taskforce is still being formed to work out the details, the two nations are determined to see the deal through. "We don't have the details yet but we are pleased to share with you that this initiative will be carried out," Lotilla went on to say.
An official at the Prime Minister's Office confirmed the; two countries' agreement as reported in the media, but declined to divulge any further details. This is the first such agreement for both Philippines and Brunei with the newly independent Timor Leste. If it is to proceed satisfactorily, it is possible that the Asean neighbours would benefit greatly from Timor Leste's.rich deposits of oil and gas.
The Philippine energy secretary pointed out that Timor Leste currently earns $100 million a month from Australia as their share in revenues from a joint natural gas project.
"I guess this only represents a' small portion of East Timor's natural gas and oil resources," Lotilla explained further.
Lotilla also pointed out that oil-producing Brunei "has the financial resources and the technical experience."
According to the official government website, Brunei Darussalam is the third largest oil producer in Southeast Asia and the fourth largest producer of liquefied, natural gas in the world. Recent statistics released by the Department of Statistics under the Department of Economic Planning and Development, Prime Minister's Office showed that in the first half of 2006, Brunei produced 219,000.barrels of oil 1,239 MMscf of gas per day. --
Courtesy of Brunei times
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