O&G industry to continue job cuts

January 25, 2021

Dateline 2021-01-21, Malaysian Reserve:

WEAKER investments and global shift to low-carbon energy sources are expected to drive job cuts further in the oil and gas (O&G) industry with over 400,000 jobs axed last year alone.

Asia School of Business Assistant Prof Dr Renato Lima de Oliveira expects O&G companies globally to continue to cut their spending as they have yet to recover from the global slump in oil demand due to Covid-19.

National O&G companies like Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and Saudi Aramco are further expected to pay hefty dividends to help respective federal governments manage their fiscal deficit as the Covid-19 battle continues.

Petronas has committed to an extra RM10 billion dividend on top of its scheduled RM24 billion dividend to the government for the year 2020. Saudi Aramco also said it would pay US$75 billion (RM303 billion) in dividend to the Saudi government.


Shell Malaysia to cut 250-300 upstream jobs

January 18, 2021

Dateline 2021-01-15, Argus Media:

Shell will cut 250-300 jobs from its upstream operations in Malaysia over the next two years, or around 2pc of the current workforce, calling it a necessary change to ensure it is “in a strong position to capture opportunities in the energy transition”.

Shell announced in September plans to cut 7,000-9,000 jobs over the next two years as part of a structural reorganisation to shift towards a low-carbon future.

Most of Shell Malaysia’s upstream staff will relocate to its principal office in Miri in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. The firm will continue to maintain an office in Kota Kinabalu in Sabah state for downstream businesses and some upstream support. “There are no changes to Shell’s offshore deepwater operations in Sabah,” it said.

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Oil and gas in the new norm

January 12, 2021

Dateline 2021-01-09, The Star:

SINCE the collapse of crude oil prices in 2014, the oil and gas (O&G) sector has never been the same.

First came the shale boom in the United States, creating ample supply and potentially changing geopolitics in the process by making the country less reliant on oil imports.

Another sting to the industry was the heavy debts that players struggled to pay back following the oil price rout that took place from 2014 to 2016.

The O&G industry has also been facing declining demand as more countries adopt cleaner and more environmentally friendly methods to generate energy.


Malaysia’s Petronas says Baram oil output to resume in Q3 after ship accident

January 11, 2021

Dateline 2021-01-04, Market Screener:

Malaysia’s state energy firm Petronas said on Monday it expects to resume full production at its Baram facilities, off the state of Sarawak on Borneo island, in the third quarter after halting output in October following an accident.
Petronas declared force majeure at its Miri crude oil terminal on Oct. 29 as a result of the ship collision on Oct. 27 at the Baram field, a company spokesman told Reuters.


Norway’s Aker Solutions sued by former Malaysian employee amid graft probe

January 5, 2021

Dateline 2020-12-30, FMT:

A former Malaysian employee of Norway’s largest oil services company Aker Solutions has sued the firm, saying it tried to stop her from speaking to authorities about its business practices, an accusation the company denies.

Seetha Kumarasamy, formerly a legal director with the firm, said in a Nov 20 Kuala Lumpur court filing seen by Reuters that Aker Solutions had sued her in 2018 to suppress evidence and prevent her from speaking out amid a corruption probe into the firm’s dealings with Petronas.

Aker Solutions, in a court filing last week, denied the allegation and accused Seetha of breaching her confidentiality obligations to the firm.


Petronas declared force majeure on two crude grades — sources

December 30, 2020

I didn’t know you could do force majare on a grade. 2020 Uni grads, go find a lawyer!

Dateline 2020-12-24, The Edge:

Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) has declared force majeure on two crude oil grades following production issues, four trade sources said yesterday.

The disruption to Miri and Cendor crude supplies has reduced Malaysia’s oil exports this month and supported spot prices in the region. 

Miri crude production was reduced after a ship hit an oil production platform off Sarawak in late October, the sources said. 

It was not immediately clear when Miri’s output could return to normal. 


Taking over the reins at Petronas during a trying time

December 29, 2020

Dateline 2020-12-19, The Edge:

On the 83rd floor of the Petronas Twin Towers last week, Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz, the president and CEO of Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), met up with The Edge for a two-and-a-half-hour session, the longest thus far any CEO of the oil company has had with us.

And the hours seemed to pass quickly with humorous exchanges and banter, but all questions were answered and peppered with facts on the oil company and its direction. It was a frank and good interview.  


State govt mulling gas distribution system for Kuching, Kota Samarahan

December 21, 2020

Dateline 2020-12-02, The Borneo Post:

A plan is in the works to implement a gas distribution system for houses, commercial businesses and industries in Kuching and Samarahan.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the system will be similar to the piped gas grid the Gas Distribution Systems in Bintulu and Miri.

“This is something which cannot take place ‘kinek kinek’ (immediately). It takes time, it is in the planning stage. It is something I want to do but I cannot reveal (more details about it) yet.


A Tale of Two State-Owned Oil and Gas Companies

December 18, 2020

Dateline 2020-12-01, The Diplomat:

2020 has been a rough year for oil companies. In April, with the sudden stop in economic activity due to COVID-19 shutdowns, the price of U.S. crude fell to below zero for the first time in history. Oil companies were essentially forced to pay to store excess crude for a while, and with the global economy still reeling the rebound in demand has been sluggish. Still, the market price for crude bounced back pretty quickly, likely on hopes that this downturn will be short-lived. While it remains below its pre-pandemic price, it has recovered quite a bit since its April lows, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate fetching $45.53 last week.


Malaysia and China in stand-off near PTTEP’s appraisal drilling

December 17, 2020

Dateline 2020-11-30, Upstream:

The Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) and Royal Malaysian Navy have been involved in yet another standoff over oil and gas drilling in the South China Sea as tensions mount between regional powers over resources in the strategic sea area.

The CCG vessel 5402 in mid-November approached the Borr Drilling-owned jack-up Gunnlod, which is working for Thailand’s national upstream company PTTEP on Block SK 410B off Sarawak, East Malaysia, according to the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) of the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS).