By Ling Hui
KUCHING, July 22: Sarawak already has full control over its oil and gas (O&G) resources on land based on the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this is evident when the Sarawak government, through Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros), awarded an exploration and production (E&P) contract at Block SK433 along Miri to Marudi to a joint venture entity.
While Petros is finalising its inaugural Petroleum Contract and Joint Operating Agreement for Block SK433, he revealed that Petros’ wholly owned subsidiary Petroleum Sarawak Exploration and Production Sdn Bhd (Petros EP) will be an equity partner in the contract as a contributor of specialist expertise.
Despite being young in the industry, Abang Johari commended Petros’ success as a firm and competitive Sarawakian entity, especially through Petros EP.
“Effective Jan 1, 2021, Petros EP has also entered into two Offshore Sarawak Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) as a non-operating equity partner and placing Petros EP in third place behind Petronas Carigali and Shell in terms of working interest share of current gas production in Sarawak.
“Petros EP is also in a good position to enter several Offshore Sarawak Exploration Blocks by end of this year,” he said.
On the O&G downstream industry, he said Petros is working closely with other State entities to increase domestic gas utilisation through initiatives under the Sarawak Gas Roadmap umbrella.
Abang Johari pointed out Petros has been the single entity for supply, sale and distribution of domestic gas to industrial and residential customers since Jan 1, 2020, with ownership and operatorship of Bintulu and Miri gas distribution systems.
With the Gas Distribution Ordinance 2016, Sarawak’s Ministry of Utilities also manages full licensing rights over the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) market in Sarawak effective June 1, 2020.
In coming weeks, he added, Petros LPG is expected to enter Sarawakian homes and businesses starting from Kuching.
“Our journey to fight for a fairer return in the O&G industry has not been easy. As you already know, the GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) government had to face Petronas (Petroliam Nasional Berhad) in court to decide whether Sarawak has the right to impose sales tax on its O&G products.
“Thank God the law was in our favour and with the victory in court, Sarawak obtained its fair share of RM2.9 billion in State Sales Tax (SST) from Petronas for 2019.
“Of course, I hope it will continue to increase for Sarawak,” he said in his speech during the Sarawak Day celebration themed “Sarawak Gemilang Untuk Semua” at a hotel here earlier this evening.
Among those accompanying Abang Johari were his wife Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang and Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian. — DayakDaily