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.

Malaysia’s PM Mahathir considering selling stakes in Petronas to Sabah and Sarawak

February 4, 2020

Dateline 2019-12-11, Straits Times:

Malaysia is considering selling stakes in energy giant Petronas to two of its 13 states where the company’s oil and gas fields are, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told Reuters, in a bid to raise funds for the debt-laden government.

Such a move may also give states such as Sarawak and Sabah a say in the running of Petronas, the world’s third-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

Tun Dr Mahathir said on Tuesday in an interview that the government could not meet a demand made by the states for a quadrupling of the royalties paid by the government-owned company to 20 per cent of its profit.

A more progressive solution than fuel subsidy

December 19, 2019

Dateline 2019-10-14, FMT:

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail has finally announced the targeted Petroleum Subsidy Programme (PSP), mooted almost a year ago.

In this scheme, RON95 petrol will be floated and Cost of Living Aid (BSH) recipients will receive between RM48 (for motorcycle owners) and RM120 (for car owners) every four months.

The move will cost the government approximately RM65.4 million a month or RM784 million annually.

Fuel subsidy programme to begin in January

December 16, 2019

Dateline 2019-10-12, The Star:

The RM2.2bil fuel Targeted Subsidy Programme (PSP) will be launched in January next year and is expected to benefit more than eight million motorists.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said individuals who owned not more than two cars and two motorcycles were eligible to receive PSP for one vehicle.

The qualifying criteria is for the passenger car to have a 1,600cc engine and below or 1,600cc and above which is more than 10 years old.

2020 Budget: RM2.2 billion for targeted fuel subsidy scheme

December 15, 2019

Dateline 2019-10-11, NST:

The government will allocate RM2.2 billion for the proposed Fuel Subsidy Programme (PSP), which is set to benefit more than eight million motorists nationwide.

Motorists in Sabah and Sarawak, meanwhile, will continue to enjoy a fuel price ceiling of RM2.08 per litre for RON95 and RM2.18 per litre for diesel, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng in his 2020 Budget speech today.

“Should the Sabah or Sarawak governments wish to participate in the PSP, the federal government is ready to accept the request.

“Individuals who own no more than two cars and two motorcycles are eligible to receive PSP for (only) one vehicle. All luxury vehicles will not qualify to receive the targeted subsidies,” he said.

He said the PSP will be launched in Peninsular Malaysia in January next year, with two eligible recipient categories.

RON95 subsidy plan is ready

November 22, 2019

Dateline 2019-09-28, The Star:

THE government will use electricity bills to determine those who will be eligible for RON95 petrol subsidies, reported Sin Chew Daily.

Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Chong Chieng Jen said only those who are in the B40 category, with monthly bills of between RM100 and RM200, will be eligible.

“The use of electricity bills is only a reference point, ” Chong said in an exclusive interview with the paper.

The proposed mechanism, he said, will be submitted to the Cabinet in October.