CMO denies CM issued ultimatum to Petronas

KUCHING: The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) wishes to clarify that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has never issued an ultimatum to national oil company Petronas that it must obtain a prospecting license under the Sarawak Oil Mining Ordinance 1958.

“The office wishes to clarify that the Chief Minister has never issued such an ultimatum to Petronas though the onus is on Petronas to comply with the State law like any other companies with prospecting and mining interests in Sarawak.

“He has always stressed that Sarawak will work alongside Petronas through its newly-formed oil company, Petros in the oil and gas industry in Sarawak within the ambit of the law and constitution,” the Chief Minister’s Office said in a press statement today.

The Chief Minister’s Office was referring to a posting in the social media portraying Abang Johari as supposedly giving an ultimatum to Petronas that it must obtain a prospecting license under the Sarawak Oil Mining Ordinance 1958.

“The fake news is very much regretted,” the Chief Minister’s Office said.

Source: https://cm.sarawak.gov.my/modules/web/pages.php?mod=news&sub=news_view&nid=1932

Petros board formed, members all Sarawakians

Abang Johari (second left) accompanied by Unimas Vice Chancellor Professor Dato Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi (left), Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Integrity and Ombudman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip (on Abang Johari’s left) and others, tours the book exhibition area after opening the International Conference on Language Studies. — Photo by Muhd Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: The board of the newly formed Petros, Sarawak’s own oil and gas company, is made up of five Sarawakians who have retired from Petronas and Shell.

Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg highlighted this yesterday as he brushed aside rumours that Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) chief executive officer (CEO) Sharbini Suhaili might be appointed to the top position.

“No, he is the CEO of energy. We have formed Petros and appointed the board. For a start, we have five members. They are all Sarawakians who have retired from Petronas and Shell,” he told reporters after opening the International Conference on Language Studies (ICLS 2017) at Riverside Majestic Hotel here.

“We will work together to find the best person with experience to be appointed the CEO. The board will decide later,” he assured.

Most importantly, he pointed out, was forming and registering the company with the board first in order to look after Sarawak’s interest in the oil and gas sector.

“Now, it (Petros) is in the formative stage. We must have our own vehicle, after which we will work with Petronas to explore the upstream activities particularly,” he added.

Abang Johari disclosed that the government already has something in the pipeline which will be announced later and the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) would be informed of Petros structure in November when the sitting commences.

He also confirmed that the state government will take up 10 per cent share of the LNG Train 9.

“Petronas has confirmed and now it is just a matter of price,” he said.

Source: http://www.cm.sarawak.gov.my/modules/web/pages.php?mod=news&sub=news_view&nid=1586

Chong suggests S’wak file case on rights to O&G in High Court

Chong (second left) and Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong (left) sharing a light-hearted moment with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg (third left), Abdul Karim (third right), Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian (right) and State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohammad Asfia Awang Nassar (second right). — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: State Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen has suggested that the Sarawak government make the first move and file a case in the High Court if it is serious about reclaiming its rights over oil and gas in the state.

This, he said, would ensure that the sole authority over upstream oil and gas activities in Sarawak is clarified once and for all.

“I think as a responsible government, you have to take the matter to court to find out whether the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974 or the Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) by the state prevails.

“Currently, it’s causing a lot of uncertainties in the oil and gas industry and this has to be clarified,” he told reporters when met after paying Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah a Raya visit at his Hari Raya open house held at Penview Convention Centre here yesterday.

He was commenting on the Federal Court’s dismissal of Petroliam Nasional Berhad’s (Petronas) application to commence proceedings to determine that the national oil company is the sole authority of all upstream oil and gas activities in the country, including Sarawak.

Chief Judge of the High Court of Malaya Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop had on Friday rejected Petronas’ application of leave to commence proceeding on the matter in the Federal Court.

Chong, who is also Sarawak DAP chairman, said the Federal Court’s decision did not clarify on whether the state government or Petronas has authority over oil and gas in the state.

“It’s neither a victory nor loss for either party at the moment and Petronas was asked to pay RM50,000 to the state government because it has filed in the wrong court.

“But it did not clarify the position of the law and now with this uncertainty on whether PDA or the state has the power, I think it has to be sorted out,” he opined.

The Stampin MP reiterated that if the state government is serious, it should file the case at the High Court as once this issue has been determined in the court of law, there would not be any conflict.

“If at the end of the day, the court says you (state government) have no claim, the state can still fall back on the 20 per cent oil royalty we (PH) have offered.

“In the oil and gas industry, a 20 per cent oil royalty is almost the maximum you can earn from extraction and sale of oil because you have the cost, research and development, and oil exploration cost to take into consideration,” he remarked.

He added that there was no point for the Sarawak government to state that it has the right to its  upstream oil and gas activities outside of court.

“It doesn’t serve any purpose and will only add to confusion and uncertainty to the industry,” he said while pointing out that this will also cause Sarawakians to suffer as employment and business opportunities will be affected.

Last month, Petronas filed an application to seek a declaration from the Federal Court on matters pertaining to the PDA and its position on the regulatory controls of upstream activities in Sarawak.

The national oil and gas company is seeking a declaration that the PDA was duly enacted by the Parliament and stated that Petronas is the exclusive regulatory authority for the upstream industry throughout the country.

Petronas is also seeking a declaration that the OMO was repealed by the PDA and hence Sarawak’s own oil and gas company, Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros), which will serve as the regulator of oil and gas activities in Sarawak based on OMO, is not valid.

Source: https://cm.sarawak.gov.my/modules/web/pages.php?mod=news&sub=news_view&nid=2115

In challenge to Sarawak, Petronas wants court to declare it owns all national oil resources

NATIONAL oil company Petronas is asking the Federal Court to declare that it is the exclusive owner of petroleum resources in Malaysia, including in Sarawak.

It is also seeking the apex court’s declaration that it is the regulator for the upstream industry throughout the country.

In a statement, the company said it filed an application before the Federal Court today seeking these declarations based on the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA).

“Petronas believes that the determination of the Federal Court would help provide clarity on its rights and position under the PDA.

“Petronas remains committed to supporting Sarawak’s aspiration to participate in the oil and gas industry in the state for as long as it is within the framework of the PDA,” the statement issued by Petronas’ group strategic communications said.

This move comes as Sarawak prepares to assume full regulatory authority over upstream and downstream aspects of the oil and gas industry in the state from next month.

In March this year, Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said that Sarawak had regained all the rights to prospect, mine and develop oil and gas in the state, meaning that oil companies, including Petronas, wishing to operate in the state would have to secure a prospecting licence from the state government.

Sarawak Pakatan Harapan leaders, however, disagreed with Abang Johari, saying the state could not reclaim such rights until the PDA and other relevant federal laws were amended.

Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros), a state-owned oil and gas exploration firm, was formed last year and officially launched in March. Abang Johari had said that Petros would not be a partner of Petronas and would instead have the “same status” as the national oil company.

The issue of Sarawak’s rights to its oil resources has long been a contentious one, with the state demanding more than the 5% oil and gas royalty it receives from the federal government each year.

The PH election manifesto for GE14 promised to increase the royalty to 20%. – June 4, 2018.

Source: https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/52330

‘Acts should be declared null and void’

SIBU: The state government has been urged to pass a motion to review the Petroleum Development Act 1974 as well as the Territorial Sea Act 2012 and obtain a court order to declare them null and void.

Bukit Assek assemblyman Irene Chang in a press statement said this in response to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s comments that the state will assume full regulatory authority over its oil and gas upstream and downstream industry by July.

“Though there are valid considerations that both Acts have contravened the Federal Constitution, it is not correct to say that they are not applicable in Sarawak,” she said.

Chang added the chief minister has to bring the matter before the courts.

“And until the Courts declare them null and void, the Acts are in force and applicable in Sarawak.

“To say otherwise is to give people false hope and the state government owes it to the people to set the matter straight,” she added.

Chang said it was time for the state Barisan Nasional to prove their sincerity in claiming back what rightfully belongs to Sarawak.

On the setting up of Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros) and Development Bank of Sarawak, she said though they sound impressive and would create employment, whatever oil and gas that may be exploited in its waters will still return to Petronas.

“And we are entitled to only 5% of the royalties paid by Petronas.

“So the only way forward is for the state government to go to court to seek declarations that the two laws are null and void.

“Then the ownership over oil and gas resources would revert to the state.

“The state government might even have the legal right to demand that all revenue earned from the resources from 1974 until now be returned,” said Chang.

Source: https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2018/03/13/acts-should-be-declared-null-and-void/

Petros nama rasmi syarikat minyak Sarawak, kata Abang Johari

Ketua Menteri juga dilaporkan berkata, Bank Pembangunan Sarawak (Dbos) akan memulakan operasinya tidak lama lagi.

PETALING JAYA: Sarawak menubuhkan syarikat minyak dan gas milik penuh milik – yang dikenali sebagai Petros, untuk menjalankan penerokaan bahan api di wilayahnya.

Ketua Menteri Datuk Amar Abang Johari Openg mengumumkan pembentukan syarikat itu semalam, dengan mengatakan ahli lembaga pengarahnya akan terdiri daripada profesional Sarawak dalam industri.

Akhbar Borneo Post memetik beliau berkata, tidak akan ada ahli politik dalam lembaga pengarah, sebaliknya hanya mereka yang mempunyai pengalaman luas dalam industri minyak dan gas akan dilantik untuk berkhidmat di syarikat tersebut.

Bagaimanapun beliau tidak mendedahkan nama ahli lembaga pengarah dan pemegang jawatan lain seperti pengerusi dan ketua pegawai eksekutif.

“Kami telah secara rasmi membentuk syarikat minyak kami, Petros,” katanya.

Pembentukan Petros merupakan 1 langkah yang belum pernah dilakukan oleh kerajaan negeri untuk membolehkan Sarawak mengambil bahagian secara aktif dalam pengekstrakan minyak dan gas di Sarawak sambil terus meminta royalti 20% daripada Petronas, kata beliau.

Abang Johari juga dilaporkan berkata, Bank Pembangunan Sarawak (Dbos) akan memulakan operasinya tidak lama lagi.

Katanya, ketua pegawai eksekutifnya telah dilantik tetapi tidak mahu mendedahkan nama buat masa sekarang.

Seperti Petros, bank itu akan mempunyai ahli lembaga yang hanya terdiri daripada kalangan rakyat Sarawak yang profesional dan bukan ahli politik, kata beliau.

Kerusi pengerusi Dbos akan diterajui oleh Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri Datuk Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani.

“Kami telah melantik ketua pegawai eksekutif dan ketua pegawai eksekutif ini akan mempunyai pasukannya di bawah pengawasan setiausaha kerajaan negeri manakala semua ahli lembaga adalah kalangan bukan ahli politik dan kalangan profesional yang akan menjalankan aktiviti bank untuk membangunkan negeri kita,” katanya,

Pada 10 Jun, Abang Johari mengumumkan rancangan Sarawak yang mahu menubuhkan firma sendiri untuk bekerjasama dengan Petronas bagi menjalankan aktiviti eksplorasi.

Beliau berkata, langkah itu adalah tambahan kepada tuntutan kerajaan untuk meningkatkan royalti minyak dari 5% hingga 20%.

Beliau juga berkata ia adalah sebahagian daripada inisiatif negeri untuk mempunyai kepentingan yang lebih besar dalam industri di sempadannya.

Source: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/bahasa/2017/08/07/petros-nama-rasmi-syarikat-minyak-sarawak-kata-abang-johari/

No more business as usual by July, Sarawak CM tells Petronas

SARAWAK Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg has told Petronas it cannot operate as usual from July, adding that the national oil company has not done enough to develop the country’s largest state.

His remarks, carried by satellite TV operator Astro tonight, underscore the state’s move to be independent of Putrajaya ahead of the 14th general election, widely expected to be called next month.

“Petronas must acknowledge the fact that it is our right for them to align with our laws,” the chief minister said in an interview on Astro Awani.

Last night, the chief minister, at the launch of the state-owned Sarawak Petroleum Bhd (Petros), said by July, Sarawak will assume full regulatory authority over the upstream and downstream aspects of the oil and gas industry in the state, and that all individuals and companies wishing to do business in the industry, including Petronas, must have the necessary licences, permits, leases and approvals from the state government.

The legal requirements are from either the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 or Gas Distribution Ordinance 2016.

Prior to this, Petronas, vested with the powers under the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA), dictated all aspects of the oil and gas industry in the state.

Petronas negotiated and awarded all the power-sharing contracts and its contractors.

Abang Johari said under the new operating condition, as Sarawak exercises its constitutional rights over the two resources, some Petronas decisions are also no longer for the company to make alone.

He gave the appointment of contractors as an example.

“They can’t appoint their contractors themselves. They must get their contractors and sub-contractors who are registered with us,” he said, referring to the new legal requirement for oil and gas companies to have licences, permits, leases and approvals from the state government.

Abang Johari said Sarawak never had a say in the appointment of contractors before.

“We don’t have a say especially in the question of the participation of our private sector.”

He said while the national petroleum company has posted billion of ringgits in profits, it is not doing enough to channel some of the money to develop the state.

“The understanding (for the PDA) was that, Petronas would use part of its revenue to develop the state. Over the years, you can see what has happened.

“Petronas has got lots of revenue, but our perception is that they concentrated their projects in the peninsula, while the state is struggling to get money to develop basic infrastructure.

“Fair enough, it has to be shared throughout the country, but there must be the equitable allocation of resources to Sarawak.”

He said Sarawakians can also see and think.

“Sarawakians are looking at the Twin Towers, and Sarawakians are also looking at all the bailouts of the federal government… and we can think that part of the money comes from Petronas.”

He said Petronas is not doing enough to help develop the state.

“Yes, they have their plant in Bintulu. That is their investment, and we have a certain equity.

“But what must be done is, there must be equitable jobs to be given to Sarawak companies.”

Despite the warning of change, Petronas said the company “is committed to supporting Sarawak’s aspirations to actively participate in the state’s oil and gas industry, in line with the current framework of the PDA”.

In offering its congratulations to the Sarawak government over the launch of Petros, and welcoming the participation of the state petroleum company in the oil and gas sector, Petronas said it is looking forward “to continue collaborating with the state for mutual benefit”. – March 7, 2018.

Source: https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/41654

Sarawak CM Office Denies Issuing Ultimatum To Petronas

KUCHING, Feb 15 (Bernama) — The Sarawak Chief Minister’s Office has denied a posting on social media that cited Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg purportedly giving an ultimatum to Petronas.

The office wishes to clarify that the Chief Minister has never issued such ultimatum to Petronas though the onus is on Petronas to comply with the state law like any other companies with prospecting and mining interest in Sarawak.

“He (the Chief Minister) has always stressed that Sarawak will work alongside Petronas through its newly-formed oil company, PETROS in the oil and gas industry in Sarawak within the ambit of the law and constitution. The fake news is very much regretted,” it said in a statement today.

According to the widely circulated posting titled “Ultimatum to Petronas, Get Licence or Get Out”, the Chief Minister purportedly issued an ultimatum to Petronas that it must obtain a prospecting licence under the Sarawak Mining Ordinance 1958, to operate in Sarawak.

— BERNAMA

Source: http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/newsindex.php?id=1436645

Petros the best thing to have happened to Sarawak — Chairman

Uggah gestures as Abang Johari shows off his new Petros jacket given to him as a token of appreciation during a candid moment at the Petros launch. Also seen are (from left) Sharbini, Hamid, Medan, Zuraimi, Morshidi (partly hidden) Heng and Dr Rundi.

KUCHING: The setting up of Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) is the best thing that has happened to the state, says its chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Hamid Bugo.

Though he admitted its establishment was a little late, it’s nevertheless ‘better late than never’ as Sarawak needed catalysts to sustain the social and economic growth required by its increasing population.

“Oil and gas has to be one of these catalysts. After all, they are our resources, or if you like, an engine of growth,” he said at the launch of Petros which was officiated at by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg here Tuesday.

Hamid added that the setting up of Petros required a lot of courage, given the present uncertain global situation in the oil and gas industry, which is “beset by low prices and unpredictable American presidential policies.

“But as the saying goes, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough gets going’. This is one statement we must be guided by to achieve our ambition.”

The former state secretary also noted that Sarawak was very fortunate to have a chief minister like Abang Johari who is willing to go the extra mile to make things happen.

“Petros will certainly be behind him and I also want to thank him for having the confidence in the six of us Board of Directors,” he said on behalf of the other five board members namely Datu Zuraimi Sabki, Sharbini Suhaili, Heng Hock Cheng, Dato Mohammad Medan Abdullah and Datin Josephine Hilary Dom.

He acknowledged that Petros is up for a huge challenge ahead especially with the volatile global situation in the oil and gas industry.

“It is even more challenging given that all oil and gas activities in Sarawak, although very substantial, are controlled and monopolised not by the state.

“Nevertheless, we have to be brave musketeers and combine our experience and expertise to face the rough seas of challenges.”

He also expressed his confidence that Sarawak would soon be in a position to exercise sufficient control over activities in the oil and gas industry in the state so as to be able to fully support Petros as a major player and contributor in the development of domestic oil and gas industry.

On Petros’ vision, Hamid said the company aims to be a major player in the exploitation and utilisation of energy in Sarawak with its role eventually as an active and fully integrated oil and gas operator across the value chain upstream, midstream and downstream.

“When all these happen, we believe Petros will be able to provide opportunities, employment and businesses for our younger generation in building their skills and expertise to the next level.”

He hoped that players in the oil and gas industry would not regard Petros as a disruptive competitor butrather view the company as a facilitator, collaborator and government-linked entity that wanted to see values in working together.

“We want to share and in doing so benefit Sarawak and Malaysia as a whole. Like many other ventures, this gigantic task of making Petros cannot be achieved by us working in isolation.

“We need support from authorities and agencies. We need partners for capital and expertise and we plan to collaborate and work together with others in the industry.”

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi, Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Morshidi Abdul Ghani and cabinet ministers were among those present to witness the launch of Petros.

Source: https://cm.sarawak.gov.my/modules/web/pages.php?mod=news&sub=news_view&nid=1963

Bright chance of regaining seat

MIRI: Sarawak Barisan Nasional component parties must go all out to recapture the Miri parliamentary seat in the coming 14th general election.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg noted the seat was once a Barisan stronghold but was lost to the opposition for the first time in 2013.

He said with all four component parties – Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) and Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) – now fully recovered after being embroiled in internal conflicts, the chances of winning back the Miri parliamentary seat seemed bright.

“We must win the Miri parliamentary seat so that we can develop together for the future generation,” he said at the Chinese New Year dinner organised by SUPP Miri and Sibuti parliamentary liaison committee.

Abang Johari, who is also the state Barisan chairman, said the Miri community must think rationally during GE14 as it would determine the future of Miri as well as the development of Miri division.

“All four leaders in Sarawak Barisan component parties are Sarawakians, we will protect the state’s rights based on the constitution,” he added.

Meanwhile, Miri SUPP and Sibuti Parliamentary liaison committee chairman Datuk Lee Kim Shim said the party had formed an election committee and its election machinery was ready to move once campaigning starts.

“Together with our component parties PBB, PRS and PDP, we will make sure that we wrest the Miri parliamentary seat,” he said.

On another issue, Lee who is state Assistant Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister hoped that the state government would study the possibility of turning the Miri river from Pullman Hotel to Kampung Wireless into a waterfront that could attract tourists similar to the Kuching Waterfront.

He also appealed to the chief minister to consider making Miri City the headquarters of Sarawak-owned oil and gas company, Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros).

“Miri has been the centre of the oil and gas industry for hundreds of years.

“It is hoped that Petros will play an active role in developing the oil and gas industry in Sarawak, particularly in Miri, thereby creating more jobs and opportunities for the locals,” he added. — Bernama

Source: https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2018/02/20/bright-chance-of-regaining-seat-abang-johari-component-parties-more-united-after-being-embroiled-in/

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