Petronas Aims to Increase Production by 3%

Petronas is targeting to increase its oil and gas production by 3.0 percent annually within the next five years, its vice president of exploration and production business, Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas said Tuesday.

He said that this was in line with the company's vision to be one of the leading global players in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry.

Currently Petronas produced about 620,000 barrels of crude oil per day and 6.5 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas per day in Malaysia.

"We are also looking at strategic partners with deep water technology for cooperation in deep water exploration projects," he told reporters after attending the Upstream Prospects and Challenges session at the 9th Annual Oil and Gas Conference, here Tuesday.

He said that Petronas is also committed to expand its cooperation with other oil companies in upstream projects based on the growing trend of mergers among major oil companies in the world.

"Currently, we are involved in the tripartite collaborative agreement with Pertamina from Indonesia and PetroVietnam where each company has agreed to allocate several blocks of offshore oil and gas reserves for projects on a joint cooperation basis," he said.

Shamsul Azhar said that under the tripartite agreement, Petronas has allocated a block off shore in Tawau.

He said that other collaborative arrangements such as sharing of shipping capacity with other oil companies had also started.

"We have started talking with Pertamina and Brunei to share shipping capacity. This arrangement will help oil companies to optimize on their logistics and reduce costs," he said.

As for the outlook of the oil and gas industry based on current high oil prices, he said that the future looked promising if prices remained high as this would enable oil companies with cash resources to undertake further development projects.

"However, it will also depend on whether or not economic growth could sustain the high oil prices," he said.

Shamsul Azhar said that based on the increasing demand for energy resources due to economic growth in Asia, Petronas is confident of maintaining sustainable growth in the coming years based on its substantial oil and gas reserves.

He also said that Petronas planned to sell six deepwater blocks in Sabah and Sarawak within the next three to four months.

"There are several interested multinational corporations talking to us," he added.