SINGAPORE, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Malaysian state oil firm Petronas plans to ramp up production at an offshore field this month, with first exports of the new crude grade planned for November, two sources with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday.
Ramp-up of output at the Gumusut-Kakap field is key to Malaysia's efforts to boost production and exports from several deepwater developments in the eastern part of the country.
Production of the new Kimanis crude grade may reach 80,000-90,000 barrels per day (bpd) next year, with potential to raise production further in the future, said one of the sources.
"If everything goes right, a cargo will load in November," the source said.
The Gumusut-Kakap field in Block J is located off the coast of Malaysia's Sabah state on the island of Borneo. Oil was discovered at the field in 2003, with initial output from an early production system launched in late 2012 and fed into the production stream from the neighbouring Kikeh field.
Technical difficulties connecting a new semi-submersible platform at the field to the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal in Kimanis bay has delayed the ramp-up of output of the crude from the beginning of the year.
The platform has a design capacity to process up to 150,000 bpd, while the onshore terminal, which will also receive oil and gas from other offshore developments, has capacity to handle up to 300,000 bpd of crude a day, according to Petronas' website.
Royal Dutch Shell, the field operator and a 33 percent stakeholder in the development, declined to comment.
Other partners are ConocoPhillips with 33 percent, Petronas with 20 percent and Murphy Oil with 14 percent.
The Kimanis grade will be close in quality to Malaysia's medium sweet Labuan crude, the source said.
Petronas has said it plans to include the grade in its price reference basket in 2015 along with Labuan, Miri and Kikeh. (Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen)