Petronas plans big plans for Sabah | Daily Express Malaysia

Petronas has big plans for Sabah

Release date: Sunday, June 30, 2024

Author: Sherrell Jeffrey



“Sabah is a land of opportunities. This was demonstrated at the conclusion of the Malaysian Bid Round (MBR) 2023, with SB403 being awarded to PCSB, EPMV and SMJ Energy, while the Bambazon Cluster was awarded to EPOMS,” Mr Bacho said.

Kota Kinabalu: National oil company Petronas has aggressive plans to increase the country’s oil production and expand its energy sector, with a particular focus on Sabah. “As a reliable supplier of energy to the world, especially through LNG, Petronas remains steadfast in its ambition for Malaysia to achieve an oil production equivalent to 2 million barrels per day by 2025 and beyond,” said Datuk Bacho Pilon, senior vice president of Petronas Malaysia Petroleum Management.

He made the remarks during a keynote speech at the 11th Sabah Oil, Gas and Energy Conference and Exhibition 2024 held at the Sabah International Convention Centre. “Investment commitments by Malaysia’s upstream industry this year are set to exceed a record high of over RM60 billion and Sabah is poised to play a key role in this expansion, home to the country’s only two floating LNG facilities with a third under construction. These investments are not just our typical investments, but our focus on reliable, low-cost and low-carbon energy,” he said. “This commitment is underscored by the range of projects scheduled for 2025 and beyond, including ageing assets, deepwater development and exploration opportunities.”

Sabah has several major projects lined up, including the ambitious Geumsut Kakap Gelonggong Jags East Phase 4, SF30 Water Injection Phase 2 and Block H Phase 1B projects. “Sabah is a land of opportunities. This is demonstrated at the conclusion of the Malaysian Bid Round (MBR) 2023, where SB403 was awarded to PCSB, EPMV and SMJ Energy, while the Bambazon Cluster was awarded to EPOMS,” he said.

“For MBR 2024, we are offering two exploration blocks and three DRO clusters in Sabah: Block SB304 and Block SB306. This time, with the latest technology and more data, we believe we can deliver… Ini Ka Rirah,” he said, expressing optimism about these prospects. He said Petronas is also investing in improving data quality to attract investors, spearheading seismic surveys to improve the quality of subsurface imaging. “With better data, we can turn new emerging plays in these focus areas into drillable prospects, opening up further opportunities,” he said. He said Petronas is working closely with the Energy Commission of Sabah (ECoS) to jointly develop the Sabah East Coast Energy Development Blueprint. He described this as a strategic initiative that will not only outline a potential energy development plan for East Coast Sabah that combines both fossil fuels and renewable energy solutions, but also further unlock the oil and gas potential of the region. “I truly believe that with all these efforts, together we can continue to make Sabah an attractive investment destination for qualified and reputable investors,” he said. Bacho said Petronas’ efforts to open up data to potential investors through its myProdata platform has been a game changer. “This open data platform has allowed us to directly assess upstream opportunities and has nicely positioned Malaysia as an attractive upstream region for growth. “As more data is collected and shared, more discoveries are being made successfully. Last year, we drilled 23 wells and made 19 successful discoveries, which shows that this mature basin is becoming more prolific,” he said. He also acknowledged areas that need improvement. “The first is to be fast-paced and transparent. I will admit that there is also room for improvement in Malaysian Petroleum Management and how we work together as an efficient ecosystem,” he said. He also cited technology adoption as another area of ​​growth, particularly the use of artificial intelligence (AI). “I believe we are yet to fully harness the power of AI to extract and monetize hydrocarbon molecules in the safest, most reliable, cost-optimized and emission-controlled manner,” he said.On developing a capable ecosystem and talent, he commended SMJ Energy’s successful partnership with Sabah, especially in developing the local Oil & Gas Services and Equipment (OGSE) vendor ecosystem. “I appreciate SMJ Energy’s tenacity in driving this with the dedicated support from the Sabah Oil and Gas Services Council (SOGSC) and the Malaysian Oil, Gas and Energy Services Council (MOGSC). Last year alone, Petronas invested about RM46 million in education and human capital development, benefiting over 136,000 Sabahans. “This investment includes various programs focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) education, as well as digital literacy,” he said. A notable initiative is Petronas’ BeDigital bootcamp. “Since holding our first bootcamp at UiTM KK in 2022, PETRONAS has successfully rolled out seven cohorts across the country, upskilling more than 500 students and providing employment opportunities to close to 200 bootcamp participants,” he said. He also said PETRONAS is strengthening its human capital development by awarding grants worth about RM6 million through the PETRONAS Academia Collaboration Dialogue Programme. These grants will fund research into green energy and operational efficiency through data science and artificial intelligence. “Together with PETRONAS and industry players, we are confident that we can make a difference. A reminder to local players – continue to upskill to ensure delivery excellence. Be prepared for the long game. Good times and bad times will pass, but excellence will ensure success in the short and long term,” he said. Reflecting on his journey, Bacho said, “I believe that I owe it all to the educational opportunities PETRONAS afforded me many years ago that got me to where I am today. “After 40 years away from my hometown (Pulau Sebatik), I have become a strong believer in education and human resource development to improve people’s lives and communities,” he said.

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