KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) has set aside a higher capital expenditure of nearly RM60 billion for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2022 (FY2022), of which 10 per cent will be spent on non-traditional spaces such as specialty chemicals and solar energy to achieve its net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050.

Group chief financial officer (CFO) Liza Mustapha said the 10 per cent allocation is the national oil company’s inaugural capex for clean energy spaces.

"Previously, I think there was never a plan on what rate it should be (for the clean energy segment) because there was no allocation from the top, so it didn’t really take off.

"So, we need to deliberate in terms of our capital allocation decision, and set it aside... because if we just leave it and let them go with the flow, then we will be one year behind (from achieving the target) all over again,” she said at a virtual MIDF Conversations session with MIDF group managing director Datuk Charon Mokhzani yesterday.

On the RM60 billion capex, Liza said it was doubled from the RM30 billion in FY2021 due to the catch-up and return of economic activities.

She said the capex would be utilised for ongoing and new projects, of which half of it being spent on domestic projects while the remaining for overseas projects.

On the current soaring crude oil prices, Liza said Petronas remains prudent in terms of predicting the crude oil prices and would stick to the fundamental price of US$50-60 per barrel (US$1=RM4.39) in the long run.

"That is the basis of how we sanction our projects, therefore, the projects should be robust regardless of the oil price volatility.

"If the prices go up, like what Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. expected that Brent crude would average over US$140 per barrel, we just need to be agile enough to capture the upside while the upside is still there,” she said.

Meanwhile, Liza agreed that the weakening ringgit against the greenback, coupled with the high crude oil prices, had given a double bonanza for the oil and gas giant thus far.

Moving forward in FY2022, she expects Petronas to continue registering a triple-digit revenue by end of 2022.

For Q1 FY2022, Petronas saw its net profit surge 154.15 per cent to RM23.44 billion from RM9.22 billion in the same period last year.

On the Pengerang Integrated Complex, Liza said the 50:50 joint venture between Petronas and Saudi Aramco had resumed operations, and both companies had been working closely together, especially towards the start-up of the refinery and petrochemical businesses. — Bernama