Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sarawak urged to buy stake in gas block from Petronas

 | February 22, 2017

PKR assemblyman See Chee How hopes Petronas will give Sarawak first option of buying the 49% stake in a gas block off Sarawak that it is reported to be selling.
KUCHING: Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg has been urged to take up the 49% stake in the SK316 offshore gas block which Petronas is reportedly planning to sell.

PKR Sarawak vice-chairman See Chee How said the Sarawak government should immediately negotiate with Petronas to purchase this stake.

See was responding to a Reuters report on Feb 20 that Petronas aimed to sell a large minority stake in the prized upstream local gas project for up to US$1 billion as it seeks to raise cash and cut development costs.

Petronas is looking to sell a stake of as much as 49% in the SK316 offshore gas block in Sarawak state, Reuters quoted sources as saying.

See, who is also Batu Lintang state assemblyman, said in a statement today: “I would be very disappointed if Petronas did not offer Sarawak the option to purchase the stake that it intends to sell.

“But, since the intention is now revealed, I urge the state government to immediately negotiate with Petronas to purchase this stake which includes the producing NC3 gas field currently feeding our LNG9 export project.”

See said if former chief minister Adenan Satem were alive, he would press Petronas to sell this stake to Sarawak to serve as the launching pad for Sarawak to participate in the upstream oil and gas industry, “a vision that the former chief minister shared with all Sarawakians”.

He said Abang Johari had been presented with an opportunity to not only continue with the legacy of his predecessor but to build up the momentum and take forward the Sarawakian aspiration.

See went on to detail the actions taken by Adenan to ensure that Sarawak not only had a fair share of the oil resources but that it played a bigger role in how Petronas handled Sarawak’s oil resources.

See posed several questions to Abang Johari:
  • Whether Abang Johari had followed up with Putrajaya on the strong representation made by Adenan’s administration to the federal government to amend Section 3(3) and Section 4 of the Territorial Sea Act 2012, to safeguard the integrity of Sarawak’s territorial boundary to have control over all its resources;
  • Whether he would set up a body such as a state sovereign wealth fund to undertake upstream and downstream oil and gas projects in Sarawak;
  • Whether he would push to make the state secretary an executive director (and not merely a non-executive director) in Petronas and ensure that the state secretary is consulted on all decisions concerning the oil and gas fields within Sarawak; and
  • Whether he was pursuing the plan to insist that Petronas’ human resources manager for its Sarawakian operation be a Sarawakian, and that a recruitment body be set up under the supervision of the Sarawak state secretary to ensure the implementation and realisation of the localisation plan.
See added: “I certainly hope that our present CM Datuk Amar Abang Johari will show the same mantle in safeguarding and advancing the rights and interests of Sarawak, and do better by taking steps to realise the vision and aspiration of all Sarawakians.”

~ Free Malaysia Today

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