Petros to get O&G onshore mining licences

KUCHING: Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros) will be awarded licences for oil and gas prospecting and production in the onshore areas in Sarawak.

Initially, the onshore mining licences to issued to state-owned Petros will cover Limbang and Baram areas in northern region, said Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said Petros would evaluate all applications for licences or mining leases and would be empowered by the state government to facilitate all the oil and gas prospecting and mining activities.

“It is the state government’s intention to manage the remaining hydocarbon potential in the onshore areas of Sarawak.

“Therefore, in exercising the state’s rights to regulate oil mining within Sarawak under our Oil Mining Ordinance 1958, the state has decided to award licences for oil and gas prospecting and production in the onshore areas to Petros, ” Johari, also state Finance Minister, told the state assembly when tabling the 2020 State Budget yesterday.

According to him, Sarawak holds about 56% of Malaysia’s natural gas reserves and over 34% in crude oil.

Petros was set up to spearhead Sarawak’s participation in the oil & gas sector and to be a major revenue contributor to the state through active participation in the development and utilisation of gas and natural gas resources in Sarawak.

Petros’s first chief executive officer is Sauu Kakok, a Bidayuh, who has spent almost 40 years of his career in the oil & has industry.His last posting was vice-president for Asia of a US-based independent oil company.

On funding for 2020’s development projects, Johari said RM3.74bil would be allocated to implement treated water and electricity extension projects statewide.

These include Sarawak Water Supply Grid Programme (stressed areas), upgrading of treatment plants, reservoirs, water pumps as well as pipe replacement projects and supply of treated water to schools throughout the state.

Under the Sarawak Rural Electrification Masterplan, RM1.45bil will be allocated to increase the coverage of 24-hour rural electrification supply from 91% to 97% by end-2020.

“This project will benefit some 13,000 rural households as well as another 7,000 households in the more remote areas where the connection will be stand-alone off-grid system using renewable energy.such as solar, ” he added.

Under 2020 budget, big allocations have been made to finance the major infrastructure projects, including about RM1.53bil for Sarawak Second Trunk Road project, RM1.17bil for Sarawak Coastal Road project and RM500mil for projects under Regional Corridor Development Authority.

Johari also announced an additional RM400mil next year to implement the various digital economy activities. Already, the state government has provided RM750mil to fund the digital economic programmes.

Source: TheStar