TotalFinaElf re-enters Malaysia

TotalFinaElf has signed an agreement with Amerada Hess to acquire a 42.5% interest in Deepwater Block F, offshore Sarawak, in Malaysia, marking the company's re-entry into the country.

Amerada Hess, the operator, will retain a 42.5% stake, while the remaining 15 % continues to be held by Petronas Carigali, the exploration and production subsidiary of Malaysia's national petroleum corporation Petronas.

Block F covers an area of 9,720 square kilometres and is located around 350 kilometres north west of Bintulu in water depths of between 200 and 1,200 metres. The three partners plan to carry out a 3D seismic campaign in 2002 before drilling an exploration well.

The company said the new agreement, which marked the re-entry of TotalFinaElf into Malaysia's oil and gas exploration sector, was in line with the group's strategy of diversifying its activities in exploration and production activities worldwide and strengthening its presence in South-East Asia.