Petros to have the same status as Petronas, says Abg Jo

Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

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KUCHING: Petros, Sarawak’s newly formed state-owned oil and gas company, is the state’s version of national petroleum company, Petronas.

It’s not a contractor to Petronas but it will have the same status as Petronas,” Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said today.

The chief minister, who disclosed that Petros had been registered as a company to his cabinet colleagues at his private 67th birthday party last Sunday, said the company would not be like Shell, Murphy or Nippon Oil.

“Its important for Sarawak to have its own vehicle to work with Petronas in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industy

“We have to protect the state’s interests.”

Abang Johari had that Sunday said the setting up of Petros was separate from the state’s demand for a 20% oil and gas royalty from Putrajaya.

The state currently receives only 5% and Putrajaya and Petronas reportedly are balking at the demand.

Speaking to reporters after opening the international conference on language studies in Kuching, the chief minister till would not disclose who had picked to sit in the board of the new company.

He did however say there would be five members “for a start”, none are politicians but they are all “retired Sarawakians who have wide experience in the oil and gas industry”.

The chief minister also said he would inform the state legislative assembly on details of the formation of the company at the budget sitting in November.

PKR assemblyman for Batu Lintang, See Chee How, in welcoming the formation of the company, said Petros should be a sovereign wealth fund answerable to the legislative assembly.

He said a sovereign wealth fund that is answerable to the state assembly would not end up like the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) which is mired in financial scandals worlwide.

See said for Petros to be successful, the state government “must first assert and assume control over the awarding of production sharing contracts (PSC) over those remaining blocks or fields of oil and gas potentials onshore and offshore within the territorial boundary of Sarawak”.

He said therefore it was imperative that all collaborations, joint ventures and any form of undertakings for upstream and downstream petroleum development projects with Petronas to go through Petros. –