TotalFinaElf has been awarded an exploration license in Brunei's deep water Block J. The block covers an area of approximately 5,000 square kilometers and is located approximately 100 kilometers from the coast in water depths ranging from 1,300 to 1,800 meters. Brunei National Petroleum Co., or PetroleumBRUNEI, the country's newly formed national oil company, informed TotalFinaElf and its consortium partners early last week that its bid for rights to Block J had been accepted.
TotalFinaElf is the block's operator with a 60% interest. Its partners in the project are BHP Billiton Petroleum Ltd. with a 25% interest and Amerada Hess Corp. with the remaining 15%. The TotalFinaElf-led consortium and PetroleumBRUNEI are expected to complete a final draft of a production sharing contract for Block J in the next few months.