Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Mahathir on Timor trip

Good for Petronas to win Iraq oilfield rights: Dr M



KUALA LUMPUR, Sat: The rights obtained by Petronas in Iraq to develop one of the world's largest remaining untapped oilfields is a good development, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

He said the national oil corporation should continue working with Royal Dutch Shell to develop the oilfields in the West Asian country.

"If Petronas gets the concession, it's good. Petronas should continue working with Shell," he told reporters after speaking at the Universiti Utara Malaysia Alumni Convention here today.

It was reported yesterday that Shell and Petronas won the rights to develop the Majnoon oilfields as Iraq staged its second auction of oil contracts since the 2003 US invasion.

Shell has a 60 per cent stake in the consortium while Petronas holds the remaining 40 per cent. The Majnoon oilfields in southern Iraq are estimated to have 12.6 billion barrels of reserves, making it one of the largest untapped oilfields left on earth.

Petronas in another consortium comprising China National Petroleum Company of China and French oil major Total won a contract at the second auction to develop the Halfaya oilfields in southern Iraq with an estimated 4.1 billion barrels of reserves.

Dr Mahathir, who is also Petronas adviser, said he was of the view that the situation in Iraq was not yet stable.

Asked about his visit to Timor Leste which ended with his return yesterday, he said he was invited because the country was interested to attract investment from Malaysia.

He was also invited to give a lecture on his views concerning the future of the former Indonesian province.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysia had not shown interest in Timor Leste previously because there were not many opportunities there but the situation was changing as the country was now producing oil and gas.

"Now that there is oil production and new opportunities, I see companies from Malaysia showing interest to invest in Timor Leste," he said. - Bernama


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John M. Miller, National Coordinator
East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873 USA
Phone: +1-718-596-7668 Mobile phone: +1-917-690-4391
Email john@etan.org Skype: john.m.miller

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