KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's crude oil production is seen rising 3.3 percent in 2012, reversing a decline this year, and liquefied natural gas production may increase, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday.
Crude output is forecast to increase to 620,000 barrels a day after an estimated 6 percent drop in 2011.
The amount of crude pumped out of the ground in Southeast Asia's second-biggest oil and gas producer may shrink to 600,000 barrels a day in 2011, extending a 3.1 percent decline in 2010, the ministry said in its 2011/2012 Economic Report.
Malaysia has been developing deep-water fields, rejuvenating old areas and introducing incentives to develop less-profitable fields in a bid to increase output as global energy use climbed.
Four fields were discovered, at Spaoh and Saratok off Sarawak on the island of Borneo, and Tambuku and Menggatal off Sabah this year, the ministry said.
"Crude oil production including condensates is envisaged to expand, supported by higher production from new oil fields," the ministry said. "Similarly, production of LNG is poised to increase following the completion of upgrading and expansion of facilities in MLNG Dua plant."
ESTIMATE FOR 2011
The country may increase natural gas output by 2.6 percent to 2.22 trillion cubic feet this year and boost reserves to 88.9 trillion cubic feet, which is equivalent to 39 years of production.
Malaysia was the 10th-largest holder of gas reserves in 2010, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
In the first seven months of 2011, output of crude oil and condensates, a type of light oil, fell 12 percent to 558,802 barrels a day, according to the report.
"The shutdown of several facilities for maintenance as well as upgrading to expand oil and gas production capacity led to lower activity in the mining sector during the first half of 2011," the ministry said.
Crude reserves will probably increase 1 percent to 5.86 billion barrels this year, equivalent to 25 years of production.
Petroliam Nasional Bhd. , Malaysia's state oil company, may begin production at the Berantai field in Terengganu in the fourth quarter of 2011. That's the development of the first so-called marginal field, where high costs made the field unfeasible to tap in the past.
Indonesia is the largest oil and gas producer in Southeast Asia.