KUCHING, Oct 30 — Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said the state government has issued mining leases to two oil blocks in the northern region.
State-owned Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) can now mine for oil in Adong Kecil West in Miri and the Engkabang area south of Marudi.
He said the issuance signals the beginning of the state government’s efforts to exercise Sarawak’s constitutional right to regulate oil mining under state laws.
“The state government, through Petros, will have the control of, and legal title to all the oil and natural gas produced from the onshore areas, and to select and appoint contractors or enter into ventures with investors to explore and produce the oil and gas from onshore Sarawak,” he said at an oil and gas industry dinner here today.
He said the state government will have a fair and business-friendly regulatory framework and environment to attract investors to participate in the development of the oil and gas industry.
“We will continue to collaborate with the existing industry players already operating in Sarawak including Petronas and Shell which I have been informed will be relocating the headquarters of its Malaysian operations to Miri.
“As a result of this effort, nearly 2,000 Shell employees will be resident in Miri,” he said, adding that because of this, and the commencement of renewed exploration activities for oil and gas production in the Miri and Marudi areas, the economy of Miri should experience robust growth in the coming years.