* Kimanis crude exports to rise 25 pct to 193,000 bpd in Feb
* Malikai output to peak at 60,000 bpd
(Adds details, quote)
By Florence Tan
SINGAPORE, Dec 13 Malaysia is expected to start
oil production at the end of December at a deepwater field that
could lift February export volumes of key grade Kimanis by 25
percent from January, two sources with knowledge of the matter
said on Tuesday.
Operated by Royal Dutch Shell, the Malikai field
off the East Malaysian state of Sabah could boost exports of
Kimanis to 193,000 barrels per day in February, or nine
600,000-barrel cargoes, they said, meeting crude demand from
Australia and India.
The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity as they were
not authorised to speak to media. Shell and its partner,
Malaysia's state-owned energy company Petronas,
declined to comment.
The new production will come after Malaysia joined producers
from outside of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries (OPEC) on Sunday to cut output along with its OPEC
counterparts. News of the agreement boosted global oil prices by
more than 6 percent to 18-month highs on Monday.
"Malaysia will benefit from the oil price increase as they
have maintained production levels and can maintain it till 2024
at least," said Subramanya Bettadapura, a Frost & Sullivan
analyst in Kuala Lumpur.
The Malikai oilfield is expected to keep the country's
overall crude output steady at 700,000 bpd in 2017 from 2016 as
it will replace declining output at mature fields such as former
flagship field Tapis, the sources said.
Malikai lies around 100 kilometres (60 miles) off Sabah in
waters about 500 metres deep and comprises two main reservoirs
that will produce 60,000 barrels per day at their peak.
The oil will be blended with oil from another Shell-operated
field, Gumusut-Kakap, and exported as Kimanis, a medium-sweet
crude with an API gravity of 38.61 degrees and a sulphur content
of 0.06 percent. Production at the Gumusut-Kakap field has
reached about 160,000 bpd after it started up in late 2014.
ConocoPhillips is the third shareholder in the two
(Additional reporting by Emily Chow in KUALA LUMPUR and Mark
Tay in SINGAPORE; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)