Sarawak needs to expand economy using O&G to shake off ‘rich but poor State’ tag

Abang Johari (centre) flanked by Hamid on his right and Petros Group CEO Janin Girie placing their palms on a device to activate a video to mark Petros' 5th anniversary.

By Ling Hui and Karen Bong

KUCHING, Oct 19: Sarawak needs to fully utilise the potential of its resources including oil and gas in an aggressive but responsible manner to expand its economy and shake off the tag of a “rich but poor State”.

Raising this, Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg pointed out that Sarawak’s oil and gas resources have not been developed in such a manner as to give enough benefits to its people.

“Therefore, when I took over the leadership of the Sarawak government, Petros (Petroleum Sarawak Berhad) was the first entity established to fulfill the aspirations of the people of Sarawak so that they could enjoy the wealth of its natural resources.

“Petros has been entrusted with the task of furthering Sarawak’s cause including negotiating the details of Sarawak’s commercial position with Petronas and this has culminated in the signing of the Commercial Settlement Agreement (CSA) between Petronas and Petros in December, 2020,” he shared when addressing Petros’ 5th anniversary celebration at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) tonight.

Elaborating, Abang Johari said the agreement included Sarawak’s equity participation in offshore operations and the assurance that 25 per cent of the State’s gas is prioritised for Sarawak’s domestic needs, apart from being empowered to develop the potential of oil and gas onshore.

Moving forward, he emphasised that Petros and through the Ministry of
International Trade, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development (Mintred), is working closely with Petronas on strategies to increase participation of Sarawak contractors in oil and gas sectors.

Sarawak government’s aspirations for 2030 include increasing the contract threshold, priority in standardised work and equipment, categories (SWEC), annual spend in Sarawak to Sarawakian companies and the percentage of Sarawakians in Sarawakian companies.

“I expect to see our local content agenda grow, and with it, the development of Sarawak’s own contractors in the oil and gas industry,” he added.

Deputies Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Petros chairman Tan Sri Hamid Bugo, Petronas chairman Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh and Petronas executive vice president and chief executive officer for Upstream Datuk Adif Zulkifli were among those present. — DayakDaily