KUCHING, Dec 11 — The state government will continue to strengthen Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) in spearheading Sarawak’s enhanced involvement in the oil and gas industry, said Chief Minister Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg today.

He said that this is being done through assuming regulatory control of onshore mining, enforcing Sarawak’s constitutional authority over the distribution of gas and increasing Petros’ participation in offshore petroleum production areas.

“A key enabler is access by the state for adequate natural gas supplies needed to drive the state’s industrial development agenda,” he said when speaking at the Memorandum of Understanding signing between Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) and Petros for the Revised Total Natural Gas Supply to Sarawak for the implementation of projects under the Sarawak Gas Roadmap (SGR).

To effectively exercise Sarawak’s rights and the Commercial Settlement Agreement (CSA) with Petronas, Abang Johari said it was imperative that Petros is the One Stop Centre for operationalising the oil and gas value chain of the state in collaboration with players in the marketplace, including investors and Petronas alike.

He pointed out that since Petros’ incorporation in 2017, its achievements in the upstream sector to date included being the Regulator and Resource Manager of Onshore Sarawak and implementer of the state’s Oil Mining Ordinance 1958.

He added Petros has awarded its first Onshore Exploration Block SK 433 to rejuvenate the exploration, development and mining of oil and gas in onshore areas.

He also revealed its wholly owned operating subsidiary, Petroleum Sarawak Exploration and Production Sdn Bhd (Petros EP) has also entered into two Offshore Sarawak Production Sharing Contracts as a non-operating equity partner effective Jan 1 this year.

“As a result, Petros EP today is the third largest equity gas producer (in working interest share) in Sarawak behind Petronas Carigali and Shell and the second largest equity condensate producer.

“Petros EP has also secured a minority-carried interest position in one Offshore Sarawak Exploration Block and expects to gradually increase its presence going forward,” he said.

In the downstream, he said Petros is driving — closely with other state entities to increase domestic gas utilisation through various SGR initiatives — to capture greater value locally from upstream gas productions and contributing to socioeconomic growth through job creation for Sarawakians.

He pointed out that since Jan 1 this year, Petros is the single entity for the supply, sale and distribution of domestic gas to industrial and residential customers with ownership and operatorship of Bintulu and Miri Gas Distribution Systems.

“On Aug 4 this year, Petros LPG entered the homes and businesses of Sarawak, first serving our capital city of Kuching, Padawan and Bau and expanding across the state soon,” he said.

Abang Johari said that through the CSA signed on Dec 7, 2020, the state government is emphasising the case for greater participation of Sarawak contractors in the Malaysian oil and gas industry with a focus on oil and gas activities in Sarawak.

Through the consultation framework, he said the government is working to three key objectives with Petronas to benefit the Sarawakian contractor community, namely capturing a bigger share of higher value contracts; verifying and prioritising bonafide Sarawakian and Sarawak-based companies; and accelerating Vendor Development Programme for Sarawakian companies.

“All these initiatives by the state government are aimed at achieving Sarawak Vision 2030 for the benefit of all Sarawakians and in turn, the nation.

“To Petronas, we appreciate your continued collaboration with the state government and with your counterpart, Petros, to support the realisation of the state’s strategic agendas,” he said. — Borneo Post