Kuala Lumpur: Gulf Petroleum Ltd, a Qatar-based oil and gas company, said it has won Malaysia's approval for a $5 billion oil and gas complex in the Southeast Asian country.

The approval letter was issued by Malaysia's Ministry of International Trade and Industry on April 25, it said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. A 1,000-acre site at Manjung, offered by the Perak state government, has been given "high priority", according to the company's statement.

New areas

Middle East producers are looking for new areas for investment as record crude prices swell earnings.

Gulf Petroleum's investment group includes oil and gas companies, and banking and insurance groups from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt.

Last month Gulf Petro-leum said it allocated crude oil for the planned project. The project includes building an oil refinery, a petrochemical project and storage facilities.