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KUCHING, March 6: By July this year, Sarawak will assume full regulatory authority over the upstream and downstream aspects of its oil and gas industry.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg in his speech during the official launching ceremony for Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros) said every company involved in the oil and gas industries in Sarawak by then must henceforth have the necessary licences, permits, leases and approvals required under either the Oil Mining Ordinance or the Gas Distribution Ordinance.
“In other words, they are required to regularize their operations and activities to comply with all state laws including those relating to the use and occupation of land.
“The enforcement of our state laws will not jeopardise the interests or investments of Petronas and other companies already involved in the oil and gas industry in Sarawak, whether upstream or downstream, but, their business and operational activities must be aligned with our laws and regulations,” he said.
Abang Johari said this following the assurance by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak that Sarawak’s rights under the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63) that had been inadvertently eroded over the years would be given back to the state.
“The State Cabinet has approved a Bill to amend the Oil Mining Ordinance to update its provisions and to provide better enforcement thereof. This Bill will be tabled at the next sitting of the State Legislative Assembly.
“The State Legislative Assembly, in the exercise of its constitutional powers, has already passed the Gas Distribution Ordinance 2016. This Ordinance will be brought into force on July 1st, 2018,” he said.
Abang Johari said since 1975, liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Sarawak had been exported by Petronas and the revenues derived had contributed tremendously to the national economy and the development of the federation.
He said in the exercise of the state’s constitutional rights, the state government was fulfilling the aspirations of the people of Sarawak that the additional revenues from oil and gas would accelerate industrial development and economic progress as to enable Malaysia as a whole to achieve a high income economy by the year 2030.
“The state government would like to see Petros work alongside with Petronas both in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry.
“Both companies can contribute significantly towards the advancement of the oil and gas industry in Malaysia and the economic progress and prosperity of our nation,” said Abang Johari.
Meanwhile, Abang Johari also officially named Saau Kakok — a veteran in the oil and gas industry — as Petros’ CEO.
The Bidayuh had 40 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry, where his last position was as the vice-president for Asia at a US-based independent oil company.
“Petros is fortunate to gain Saau’s experience, talent and vision. I am confident that Saau, is the right person to lead Petros into the future, adding value to the careers of talented young Sarawakians while making Petros the best place to work,” said Abang Johari. — DayakDaily