Oil has been discovered off the shores of Pahang, bringing the estimated Bertam reserves to 64 million barrels.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd and Lundin Oil jointly made the discovery under a production sharing contract at Block PM 307 of the Bertam oilfield.

The Prime Minister added that the new oilfield lay 160km off the shores of  Peninsular Malaysia, opposite Pahang, at a depth of 76m.

PM 307 PSC is operated by Lundin Malaysia, which has a 75% interest, with Petronas holding the remaining equity.

Bernama quoted Najib as saying: “This (find) is very significant because we  have never discovered oil in a commercial quantity at the Penyu Basin.  This is a major breakthrough.

“With the discovery, the Bertam oilfield is estimated to have oil reserves of 64 million barrels,” he said after chairing the Biotechnology Implementation Council meeting here.

Based on the findings of commercial and technical  feasibility studies, Najib said, crude oil production would begin at the oilfield in the third quarter of 2014 with a projected output of  between 17,500 and 20,000 barrels per day.

He added: “This discovery proves there is oil and gas at the southern region of the Malay Basin towards the Penyu Basin.

“The oilfield is located on the continental shelf which is under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government.”

Najib said Pahang was expected to receive a special payment of RM100mil a year once production begins.