Malaysia’s oil exports to Kimanis to fall into question at Shell field – sources

SINGAPORE, Sept. 16 (Reuters) – Exports of Malaysia’s flagship crude oil, Kimanis, will drop in October and November following a production problem at an offshore oil field operated by Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), said three sources familiar with the matter.

Petroleum Brunei, one of the stakeholders, canceled a tender to sell a shipment of Kimanis crude that was due to be loaded in early November due to the problem, one of the sources said.

Kimanis’ crude production fell to around 117,000 barrels per day and the volume of each cargo load in October was also reduced, another source said.

The blackout will tighten supplies of sweet crude to Asia, which could support the prices of similar exports from Vietnam and the Atlantic Basin, traders said.

Shell, Petroleum Brunei and Malaysian national energy company Petronas could not be reached immediately for comment.

A leak was recently discovered in a compressor unit at the Gumusut-Kakap oil field off Sabah in eastern Malaysia that was shut down in August for maintenance, the second source said.

The unit, which was scheduled to resume operations this month, will remain closed until repair work is carried out in November, he said.

The loading dates for cargoes originally scheduled to be exported from late September to November have also been pushed back from three to twelve days, he added.

Other stakeholders in Kimanis production include Indonesian Pertamina (PERTM.UL), Thai PTTEP (PTTEP.BK) and ConocoPhillips (COP.N).

Shell operates the two deepwater fields Gumusut-Kakap and Malikai off Sabah, capable of producing 170,000 bpd of Kimanis crude at peak.

Kimanis crude production has declined in recent years, but still constitutes the bulk of Malaysia’s exports.

Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Richard Pullin

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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