MIRI, April 14 — Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg today asked Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) to share its seismic data on oil and gas reserves in the state’s territorial boundary with Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros).
“They have the seismic data. We want to know the data. Let’s share the data with Petros,” he said when addressing the Sarawak Oil and Gas Seminar and Exhibition here.
He said with the seismic data, state-controlled Petros can start the discussions on production sharing arrangement with Petronas and other international companies.
“We don’t take all. They must also not take all. There must be win-win for both sides,” he said, adding that data is important for upstream oil and gas activities.
The chief minister also reminded Petronas that it must obtain a licence from the state government to exploit and explore oil and gas resources within Sarawak’s territorial boundary.
He said the state’s Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO), which was upgraded through amendments in the last sitting of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly, has been empowered to regulate the oil and gas industry in the state.
Abang Johari also said OMO also empowers Petros to participate in the oil and gas industry.
He said Petros, being staffed by experienced people who are always on the field, know what they will do.
However, he said Petros has to submit proposals and recommendations to the state government where it wants to participate in the upstream activities with Petronas and other international oil companies.
He said the state Cabinet will study the proposals and recommendations before giving approval.
“If the proposals and recommendations are good, then the Cabinet will give its approval,” he said.
“That is our way of doing things. At the end of the day, what we really want is real participation in the oil and gas industry,” he said.
Abang Johari said the state government wants the local players to participate in the oil and gas industry.
He said he lets the people, especially the local industry players, know what the state governments want to do, saying that the state government is committed to make sure that Sarawak gets its share in the oil and gas industry.
Abang Johari said Sarawak is rich in terms of its natural resources, but it is one of the poorest states in Malaysia based on per capita income.
He said this explains why the state government introduced the 5 per cent sales tax on petroleum and petroleum products exported to other countries, starting this year.
He said the introduction of the sales tax was made after the state government found out that it could not ask for the increase in royalty on its oil and gas to 20 per cent as the Federal Constitution had put the ceiling at 10 per cent.