New O&G group aims to help Sabah firms get bigger slice of industry pie

Sabah Oil and Gas Services Council protem chairman Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim (second left) with deputy chairman Datuk Patawari Patawe (left), Treasurer Danny Wong (second right) and Secretary Willie Ng. ― Picture by Julia Chan
Sabah Oil and Gas Services Council protem chairman Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim (second left) with deputy chairman Datuk Patawari Patawe (left), Treasurer Danny Wong (second right) and Secretary Willie Ng. ― Picture by Julia Chan

KOTA KINABALU, Aug 2 ― A newly-formed group is aiming to provide oil-and-gas sector suppliers in Sabah with the needed skills and contacts to tap into the industry that offers tens of billions of ringgit in jobs.

Calling itself the Sabah Oil and Gas Services Council (SOGSC), it says it will aggressively conduct technical programmes in collaboration with key industry players such as Petronas to enable members to gain the expertise to service such companies.

“The potential for Sabah’s oil and gas industry is extremely high, and we need to leverage this to better benefit Sabahan service providers.

“Currently they are not well-equipped with the right skills and knowledge to support the industry and jobs are going out to foreign companies from West Malaysia and elsewhere,” said SOGSC secretary Willie Ng during a press conference here today.

Explaining that that the council is meant to balance the existing Sabah Oil and Gas Contractors Association (SOGCA), Ng said the latter is restricted only to contractors registered to state oil firm Petronas.

“They have a limited scope so SOGCS will fill in the gap by aiming to provide jobs for a wider scope of service providers, from stationary to other suppliers,” said Ng. “It is not meant to compete, but to complement the SOGCA.”

Ng said that the SOGCS, which was officially formed on May 29 this year, will use connections with key oil-and-gas players such as Petronas, Shell, Murphy and Talisman to provide networking opportunities for its members.

They are currently processing some 30 applications for membership but are aiming for a total of 80.

SOGCA president Datuk Iskandar Malik, when contacted, said that the formation of SOGSC could be beneficial to industry but only if they fully complied with existing standards.

“Anyone is welcomed to form such a body, but bear in mind, they still need to be licensed to supply to the industry. The objectives are the same here, we are trying to provide jobs for everyone,” Iskandar said.

According to him, Sabah contractors netted about 2 per cent of the RM45 billion worth of Petronas jobs.

SOGCA currently has some 15 members, registered and licensed by Petronas and providing support services to the various oil and gas projects in Sabah.

Other than former Sabah State police commissioner and mayor Iliyas, the council consists of former Agriculture and Food Industries assistant minister Datuk Patawari Patawe, who is deputy chairman, vice chairman Datuk Albert Boyou and Danny Wong Chee Kiong as treasurer.