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By DayakDaily Team
KUCHING, Nov 23: The Sarawak government has a carefully conceived strategy to safeguard the State’s rights on petroleum resources without affecting investors confidence and concerns over their huge investments in Sarawak’s oil and gas industry.
Deputy Minister of Law, MA63 and State-Federal Relations Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Syaeed Aman Ghazali gave this assurance even though she cannot reveal the terms in the Commercial Settlement Agreement (CSA) between the Sarawak government and Petronas due to a binding confidentiality clause.
“The principle objectives of the CSA were to enable Sarawak to increase its revenue from oil and gas found and produced within the State of Sarawak, greater participation of Sarawak companies in the oil and gas industry in both upstream and downstream levels and to secure adequate gas supply to support Sarawak’s gas masterplan.
“These objectives are to be realised through a consultative framework comprising high level representatives from the State government, Petronas and Petroleum Sarawak (Petros),” she told the august House in the questions and answers session in responding Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How today.
After the CSA was signed, Sharifah Hasidah pointed out that the State government has taken control of all oil mining activities in onshore areas of Sarawak, and issued mining leases and oil exploration licenses to Petros.
In addition, she said Petros has been allowed to acquire equity interests in a number of offshore areas under Petroleum Sharing Contract (PSC) and for new exploration areas that carry interests are opened to Petros.
“These opportunities were not available to Sarawak and Petros before the CSA was signed. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has also been signed between Petros and Petronas whereby Petronas would make available to the State 1,200 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas by 2030 to support domestic industry both in the power and non-power sectors.
“Meanwhile, Petros has also become the aggregator of gas supplied to industries in Miri and Bintulu and working towards becoming the sole distributor of liquified petroleum gas in the State,” she added.
Giving further assurance, Sharifah Hasidah emphasised that the Sarawak government will certainly continue to work with Petronas, investors and all local players in the oil and gas industry to develop Sarawak’s offshore blocs within the State territorial boundaries and waters.
“I am sure our oil company, Petros, will be in continuous and ongoing talks, negotiations and discussions with Petronas and all other industry players in relation to acquisition of equities, interests in oil fields within our territorial waters.
“In the end, I believe this is an operational and commercial issue and decisions that will have to be tackled by our own petroleum company Petros,” she added. — DayakDaily