As oil prices reached a record $52.53 a barrel in the Far East today, Shell announced a major find in the region.

Brunei Shell Petroleum said it has made a new oil discovery off Borneo island in an area that could yield up to 100 million barrels of crude.

“We regard this as a very important discovery because there are up to 20 similar structures in this area,” said Mark Carne, the company’s managing director.

“If this success is replicated, we estimate total recoverable oil of up to 100 million barrels from the whole of the Seria North Flank,” the statement added.

The Seria oil field was discovered in 1929 in the tiny sultanate with vast but dwindling offshore oil and gas reserves that have made it one of the world’s richest countries per capita.