How we launched the ML South project
When I started in Brunei in September 2011, the legal situation was simple: the Gas Supply Agreement (GSA) will expire in 2013 and the Petroleum Mining Agreement (PMA) in 2019. It’s fundamental to understand that 70% of the TEPB revenues come from the sale of gas to BLNG. The interest of TEPB is to increase those sales and thanks to the latest successful exploration campaigns (2007 and 2010), production could speed up in the coming years. In order to reach this goal, the subsidiary was about to launch a new project, the ML South project, but first needed the approval of the management in Paris. Consequently, in 2011, we were facing two great tasks: a massive work on contract renewals (GSA and PMA) and the approval phase of the MLS project.
This does not happen often in a career and I really found it exciting. To start with, we had to increase the number of people on the team in order to renew the contractual framework ; and at a sustained pace, the negotiations followed one another. In December 2011, the extension of the current PMA was granted until November 22nd 2039 via an exchange of letters.
This agreement enabled the launch of the ML South Project with certain conditions, mainly related to local content promotion and domestic market obligation. On February 8th, 2012, we signed a new BLNG 20-year Gas Sales Agreement starting April 1st 2013 and on the February 14th 2012, the COMEX approved the launching of the MLS project via a revised Field Development Plan (FDP) to develop the southern panels. One can speak of a period of very intense work! And it was “only” a part of my job.
Indeed in parallel, the unitisation process dealing with the gas reservoirs straddling Brunei and Malaysia in the Northern panel, resumed after a few years stand-by. The context of this unitisation is, I think, unique in the world and so was very interesting to drive. For me Block B is a real success story.