Malaysian oil and gas company "Petronas" has signed three main contracts worth US$5.2 billion with Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd and Hess Exploration and Production Malaysia B.V. for the North Basin project in Malaysia. In a statement issued Thursday, Petronas said the new integrated gas development project would be implemented in two phases, Early Production System and the Full Field Development. "The project is part of Petronas' overall efforts, including the various enhanced recovery initiatives, to enhance the security of gas supply situation in the country," according to the statement. Petronas said the project would commercialize around 1.7 standard trillion cu ft of gas reserves from the area. Geologically located in the North Malay Basin in the offshore lower part of the Gulf of Thailand. The North Malay Basin is a Neogene intracratonic rift/sag basin, elongated in shape, oriented in the northwest-southeast direction and consists of provinces of margin platform, margin ramps and central basinal area or depocentre. Geochemical studies indicate a rich source potential for gas and also for substantial amount of oil. Hydrocarbons within the Malay Basin are found in all of the above provinces. Generally, the North Malay Basin contains thick sediments in excess of 8 km deposited since the Oligocene.