Sarawak forms committee to ensure greater participation in oil and gas sector

December 11, 2020

So, can I hold dual citizenship? Malaysia and Sarawak?
Dateline 2020-11-13, Malay Mail:

 A committee has been formed to facilitate negotiations between the state government, the federal government and Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) to ensure greater participation of the state in the oil and gas sector, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said in the state assembly today.

He said negotiations on commercial solutions for the matter are still ongoing among the three parties.

“The state government is fully committed to taking control of the exploration and mining of oil and gas within the territorial boundaries of the state,” he said in his winding-up speech for the debate on the State Budget 2021. 


Warisan rep chides ex-colleague over petroleum sales tax issue

December 9, 2020

Dateline 2020-11-12, FMT:

There is no truth to claims that former Sabah chief minister Shafie Apdal did not pursue the 5% sales tax on petroleum products because he was worried about offending former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Warisan’s Merotai assemblyman Sarifuddin Hata came to his party president’s defence today following comments by former assistant finance minister Kenny Chua on the issue.

Yesterday, Chua had agreed with STAR’s Tulid assemblywoman Flovia Ng’s allegation over Shafie’s refusal to pursue the matter until after the fall of the Pakatan Harapan government in February this year.


Malaysia’s Petronas to pay Sabah state $303 million in sales tax next year

November 30, 2020

Dateline 2020-11-08, Reuters:

Malaysian state-owned energy giant Petronas is expected to pay the resource-rich state of Sabah 1.25 billion ringgit ($303 million) in sales tax next year, state media said.

Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Jeffrey Kitingan said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had agreed for the state to collect the 5% tax from Petronas next year, Bernama news agency said late on Saturday.


Political stability may be behind Shell’s recent shift to Sarawak, says analyst

November 14, 2020

Dateline 2020-10-25, FMT:

An analyst believes Shell’s decision to downsize its operations in Sabah and move its personnel into Sarawak was partly driven by the political stability in the latter.

Sociopolitical analyst Awang Azman Pawi said the stability of the state government under the leadership of Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg has managed to instill foreign and local investors’ confidence in Sarawak.

“This has (particularly) attracted foreign investors to pump more investments into Sarawak and this can also be attributed to this latest move by Shell (in Sabah),” he told FMT.

“The repositioning of Shell’s focus (back) to Miri is because Sarawak is seen to be having a clearer state policy as well as better facilities. This exudes confidence that the state is prepared to further develop and move forward in the oil and gas industry.”

According to Awang Azman, Sarawak’s determination in defending its rights by being bold enough to stand up to Putrajaya on issues pertaining to oil and gas was also another consideration.


A plea to CM Hajiji: Halt Shell’s move to Miri

November 13, 2020

Ah, politiking continues.

Dateline 2020-10-23, FMT:

Shell’s announcement on Oct 15 that the Plaza Shell office in Kota Kinabalu would be closed, with a relocation of all Sabah staff to Miri next year, was met with silence.

The Kota Kinabalu office was set up in November 2015 with promises of Shell’s significance presence, strategic partnership and offer of measurable progress for the state. This change of commitments, a sad truth on the change of events, draws much reservation, suspicion and unveils broken promises from Shell to the state, its people and communities.

The well established and progressive 200 Shell staff, occupying four floors of the 14-storey Plaza Shell, a distinguished landmark in Kota Kinabalu located strategically in the city’s business district may see the last of its pivotal presence very soon. Their lives, sadly, may never be the same again.


Don’t count on higher oil royalties during slump, says analyst

October 27, 2020

Dateline 2020-09-23, FMT:

An oil and gas analyst has cautioned against expectations of higher oil and gas royalties because of the worldwide slump in the industry.

Renato Lima de Oliveira said an increase in oil royalties, a hot topic in the Sabah state election, was unlikely because the industry had yet to recover from the fall in oil prices in 2014, as well as the absence of new, significant reserves.

“Production of oil and gas from Malaysia has also been stagnant, so there is no incentive for oil and gas companies to revise existing contracts,” said de Oliveira, an assistant professor at the Asia School of Business.

He was commenting on recent remarks by Sabah Barisan Nasional chief Bung Moktar Radin that oil royalty payments for Sabah and Sarawak could not be raised to 20% as it involved pre-existing agreements with oil corporations, including international ones.


No way Sabah, Sarawak can get 20% oil royalty from govt, says Bung

October 22, 2020

Dateline 2020-09-17, FMT:

Sabah Barisan Nasional election chief Bung Moktar Radin doesn’t understand why Pakatan Harapan has pledged to increase the oil royalty payment for Sabah and Sarawak to 20%, claiming it could not be done.

Bung said increasing the oil royalty for the states was not easy as it involved pre-existing agreements with oil corporations, including international ones.

“We have done our research on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 on oil royalty and there is no way we can get the 20% from the federal government,” he told reporters after a ceramah in this interior Sabah district today.

“The agreement was signed after our independence with international corporations, including big firms from outside the country.


SDMC: Non-Sarawakians in O&G industry entering state now required to undergo 14-day quarantine

September 28, 2020

I don’t know what the status is as of today, but hey.

Dateline 2020-09-01, The Borneo Post:

Non-Sarawakian workers in the oil and gas industry who are entering Sarawak will be required to undergo quarantine effective today, said the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

It said in a statement that Malaysians from Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Labuan as well as non-Malaysians who are signing on from their platforms will be placed at a quarantine centre in the state for 14 days.

“An rT-PCR test will be taken on the second and tenth day of quarantine.


When politics weighs on Malaysia’s only Fortune 500 company

September 7, 2020

Dateline 2020-06-29, The Edge:

IT must have been a difficult decision for Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) to back-track and stop contesting in court the petroleum product sales tax imposed by Sarawak last year.

The national oil firm is slated to pay more to the state when it has just halted exploration and slashed 2020 capex and opex in the face of volatile oil and gas prices.

Benefitting from the decision are the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) political coalition, which can ride on the success of getting a higher share of oil money, and indirectly, Petronas’ sole shareholder — the new Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, which may have to face a no-confidence vote in the Dewan Rakyat next month.


Sarawak’s oil for Sarawak

March 1, 2020

Dateline 2019-12-26, FMT:

Suarah Petroleum Group (SPG) would like to refer to the various statements by the CEO of Petronas, Wan Dzulkiflee Wan Ariffin, and Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as reported recently.

SPG reiterates the bigger picture that our stance, and we believe that of the Sarawak government as well, is based on the inequitable distribution of wealth and continuing poor management of Sarawak’s oil and gas resources that is the genesis of the situation which now manifests in our current disagreement with the federal government and Petronas.

To say or imply in any way that Sarawak’s demands are driven by short-term objectives or simply wanting larger royalty now is an over-simplification and misinformation that certain parties have put forward to mask the genuine and legitimate concerns of Sarawak that underpin SPG’s and the Sarawak government’s position.