Sarawak dead serious about its oil, gas resources

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

Commentary

THE press statement from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) today clearly shows the state government’s steadfast determination to take full control its oil and gas (O&G) resources.

In the statement, the CMO announced that the Gas Distribution Ordinance 2016 (GDO) comes into effect today.

To recap, the Sarawak Legislative Assembly had passed the GDO on Nov 21, 2016. Among others, the GDO stipulates that all activities associated with the distribution of oil and gas, upstream and downstream, will need to be licensed by the state government.

Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Stephen Rundi Utom, who tabled the Bill, explained that these activities also include import of liquefied natural gas; re-gasification, treatment, separation and processing of gas; transport, supply and retail of gas; and the construction, management and maintenance of gas pipelines, terminals, plants and facilities.


He had added that GDO covered all types of gas, including natural gas, liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, and specialty gases used in hi-tech industries and hospitals.

The introduction of the GDO repealed the Sarawak Gas Supply Services (Operating Company) Ordinance, 1995.

Sarawak Gas Distribution Sdn Bhd (SGD), which is currently supplying piped gas to over 20,000 domestic, commercial and industrial consumers in Miri, will not be affected. It can continue to service consumers based on the current tariff rates and agreements.

Petronas, however, as a producer and supplier of gas for distribution in Sarawak, will be subjected to the new law. They need to have a licence in order to continue to operate.

On March 8 this year, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg announced that Sarawak would assume full regulatory authority over both upstream and downstream operations and activities of the oil and gas industry by today.

He said all companies or persons involved in the industry must possess the necessary licences, leases and approvals either under Sarawak Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO) or GDO.

The operations and activities of all O&G are required to comply with all state laws, including those related to the use and occupation of land, Abang Johari said at the launching of Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros) on March 8 this year. — DayakDaily