By Peter Sibon and Karen Bong
KUCHING, Dec 2: The state government’s efforts to propel the oil and gas sector will continue as its determination was demonstrated in going to great lengths in getting Petronas to comply with the State Sales Tax (SST).
Emphasising this, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg that Sarawak has an abundance of oil and gas resources as 60 per cent of the oil and gas reserve in the country was in Sarawak.
“As such, Petros was set up two years ago so that Sarawak can actively participate, exploit potentials and further grow the oil and gas sector.
“Among the recent developments including the issuance of two licenses to undertake onshore explorations,” he addressed the launching of Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) at Kubah Ria Complex here today.
Abang Johari also disclosed that discussions were still ongoing as to which other areas to explore and maybe in the near future, the state and federal governments can reach an agreement for the active participation in the oil and gas sector by Sarawakians.
Hoping to re-engineer more revenues for Sarawak, he also hoped that the state-owned methanol plant, which is being established, will be operational by 2023 to bring benefits and returns to the state as well as to create more jobs for locals.
“The state government wants to do more initiatives and some are in discussions, including in waters to obtain oil and gas. We hope to be a rich country like the United Arab Emirates.
“More needs to be done in the oil and gas sector, so hopefully Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will win in the upcoming state election. It will be better as we want to steer our industries to greater heights,” he said but hinted that the election is still far though.
Meanwhile, the red-coloured Petros “tong gas” or gas cylinders will be reaching the homes, businesses and industries in Sarawak, starting with Kuching and Samarahan next year (2021) and extending statewide in 2022.
Earlier on, Abang Johari also revealed that the state government has principally agreed to supply and sell Petros tong gas to West Kalimantan especially villagers along the border.
Minister of Utilities Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and Petros Board of Directors chairman Tan Sri Hamid Bugo were present.