Malaysia by state-run oil firm Petronas has awarded Block SB405, offshore Sabah, to ConocoPhillips East Malaysia (COPEM), a unit of ConocoPhillips, and Petronas Carigali.

ConocoPhillips will own an 85% stake and serve as operator for the Block SB405, which is located in the North East Sabah basin, off the coast of Sandakan. Petronas Carigali will own the remaining 15% stake.

Under five existing production-sharing contracts (PSCs) in Malaysia, ConocoPhillips holds interests in Block J, G, and Kebabangan offshore Sabah, as well as SK304 and WL-00 offshore Sarawak.

Petronas Malaysia petroleum management senior vice-president Mohamed Firouz Asnan said: “The entry of COPEM with its world-class proprietary seismic technology into Block SB405 is expected to enhance the hydrocarbon resource potential off the coast of Sabah.

“This is an area that has a proven working petroleum system with previous discoveries such as Kuda Terbang and Nymphe fields. At the same time, the new investment of COPEM in Block SB405 represents enhanced confidence of foreign investors in the upstream sector in Malaysia.

“Under our right asset, right player strategy, we hope to unlock the full potential of the hydrocarbon resources in Malaysia towards successfully delivering clean and reliable energy to our customers in Malaysia and abroad.”

In a separate statement, Petronas said it plans to offer 13 offshore exploration blocks in Malaysia at the country’s upcoming bid round 2021.

The blocks will be offered in the Malaysia Bid Round (MBR) 2021, which is scheduled for launch on 26 February.

It also includes Petronas’ six discovered fields to incentivise investors to carry out more exploration activities within those blocks.

Petronas will also offer four deepwater blocks adjacent to the coast of Sarawak and Sabah in the MBR.