‘Ensure Sarawak benefits greatly from mega oil, gas complex in Lawas’

E11 Platform Complex, Baronia oilfield in Miri. — file pic

KUCHING, June 11: State Reform Party (STAR) advised the Sarawak government to put in place a strong team, including hiring oil and gas experts in the field, to ensure Sarawak secures a fair deal and maximises profits from the state’s resources.

Its president, Lina Soo, was commenting on the state government’s collaboration with Chinese firms Beijing BECA Sci-Tech Co Ltd and Sinopec Engineering Incorporation to develop an integrated oil and gas complex in Lawas.

“At an investment cost of USD$5 billion, this is still small fry compared to the USD30 billion oil and gas complex at Pengerang Johor, which has a spillover effect on surrounding developments such as Iskandar, Senai Desaru and ports to the tune of billions more,” she said in a statement today.

Citing reports from Petronas, Soo said that Sarawak produced up to 850,000 barrels of oil and gas (BOE) every day, but for all that, Sarawak had seen little development and remained a third-world country.

“Sarawak can participate in our oil and gas throughout the whole value chain by having our own refinery and growing our own range of petrochemical upstream and downstream products to add value by four to five times our current Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” she said.

Yesterday, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the collaboration was an auspicious step towards expanding Sarawak’s capacity and capability in the oil and gas sector, instead of being a mere spectator and waiting for ‘handouts’.

The proposed integrated oil and gas complex to be built on a 400ha site at Pulau Sari in Lawas would be able to provide direct employment of 1,000 in its first phase and about 20,000 during its three-year construction period and expected commencement of production in 2022. — DayakDaily