TheMalaysianInsight.com

Sarawak CM dismisses claim Petros will be another 1MDB

SARAWAK Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg has dismissed allegations published online that state oil company, Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros), was created as a vehicle to siphon Sarawak oil money away.

“No such thing. That (claim by the) website – aogm.net – is malicious with malicious intentions,” he said when opening Brooke Dockyard and Engineering Works Corporation’s second fabrication yard in Demak and the loadout of Petronas Carigali’s Bokor D substructure in Bako, 40km from Kuching.

Source: https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/137749

Sarawak leaders divided over state’s actions to defend its rights

IN March last year, the Sarawak government established the state’s own oil and gas exploration company, Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros), modelled after national oil company Petronas.

While many Sarawakians were trying to figure out what role the company would play alongside Petronas, which has absolute monopoly over the state’s carbon resources, alarm bells were reported to be ringing in the Twin Towers and Putrajaya on the Sarawak government’s intent.

Source: https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/131882

Sarawak still guarded in giving details of oil and gas talks

SARAWAK Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg today provided some insight into the highly secretive negotiations between state oil company Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros) and Petronas over the latter’s new role in the state’s oil and gas industry.

He also touched upon the terms of the new resource-sharing agreement, following the state’s decision to fully enforce its Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO).

Source: https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/102569

Group wants Sarawak to end oil, gas talks with Petronas

THE Sarawak government must end the ongoing talks between state oil company Petroleum Sarawak Bhd and Petronas over a new oil and gas sharing deal.

State rights group Sarawak Association for Peoples’ Aspiration (Sapa), said the state government must stand up to its rights over oil and gas in the state.

Source: https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/99118

SUPP’s proposal to make every Sarawakian a Petros shareholder a ‘bad idea’

SARAWAK PKR vice-president See Chee How said Sarawak United People’s Party’s (SUPP) proposal to make all Sarawakians shareholders in state oil company Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) is “a bad idea”.

See, the Batu Lintang assemblyman, dismissed the proposal passed at the party’s annual delegates conference in Kuching yesterday as “just a populist idea to appeal to the urban folk”.

Source: https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/87307

Sarawak to implement regulatory rights on oil, gas beginning July 1

BEGINNING July 1, Sarawak will implement regulatory rights on oil and gas activities in the state, said Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg.

He said this following the federal court’s dismissal of Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) application for leave to commence proceedings against the Sarawak government’s move to regulate the state’s petroleum activities.

Abang Johari said the state government’s move was in accordance with the law stipulated in the federal constitution.

“This means that some of the powers under the Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) 1958 will be implemented by Petros (Petroleum Sarawak Bhd),” he said.

Yesterday, Chief Judge of Malaya Ahmad Maarop dismissed Petronas’ application after deciding that the federal court could not hear the matter, as the declaratory relief sought by the national oil company was not covered under the jurisdiction of the federal court, but the high court.

Abang Johari said only the Sarawak government had the rights to regulate the oil and gas activities from the point of law as stipulated in the federal constitution.

When asked if Petronas needed to apply for a permit or permission from Sarawak to be involved in oil and gas activities in the state hereafter, he replied: “What is happening now is that we have the state law that Petronas must abide to.”

Sarawak would not create a difficult environment with abnormal conditions for the oil and gas industry in the state, and would ensure that it continued to run smoothly, he said.

Abang Johari said Sarawak’s next state legislative assembly sitting would table the bill to amend OMO 1958, as some of the matters in the ordinance were no longer relevant with the current situation. – Bernama, June 23, 2018.

Source: https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/56436

Sarawak win over Petronas not certain yet

SARAWAK was quick to celebrate the Federal Court’s dismissal of Petronas’ legal challenge to obtain ownership rights over all petroleum resources in the country, even as the oil company’s lawyer cautioned that the fight was not over.

Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said the state will now enforce all state laws regulating the oil and gas industry which includes requiring Petronas to obtain approval for its activities in Sarawak.

He said all companies, including Petronas, must by July 1 have the necessary licences, permits, leases and approvals required under either the Sarawak Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) 1958 or the Gas Distribution Ordinance 2016.

Abang Johari, in a statement responding to the Federal Court’s decision, said it had paved the way for the state government to enforce its state laws, such as the OMO.

He also said state oil company Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) will be delegated the appropriate powers to implement the OMO.

However, Petronas’ lead counsel Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said the apex court had only ruled that the case did not come under its jurisdiction and had asked for it to be heard in the High Court instead.

Malik was reported by The Malay Mail saying that the Federal Court’s decision was on a “procedural matter” and that the issue was “still very much alive, not been decided in any way”.

The merits of the case have not been decided, he added.

In addition to seeking ownership of the country’s petroleum resources, Petronas also wants the court to declare the Sarawak OMO as overridden by the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA). The OMO was drafted before Malaysia was formed.

The OMO was used by the Sarawak government to inform Petronas that the state would regulate its upstream oil and gas activities from July 1.

Abang Johari has previously said that the OMO would be amended to update its provisions, with a bill to be tabled at the state legislative assembly next month.

Malik today said the federal court’s did not make any decision on the PDA or the OMO, adding that he would wait for further instructions from Petronas before any filing at the High Court.

Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii also expressed caution over any move to celebrate the Federal Court decision today.

In a Facebook post he said Sarawak had to “keep our eyes on the ball and not get ahead of ourselves”, adding that he expected Petronas to take the matter to the High Court.

“While I congratulate the legal team for their efforts and success, there is still an ambiguity in law and technically the status quo still stands.

“PDA 1974 wasn’t repealed, nor was there a ruling to say it does not apply in Sarawak. The legal argument is not about ‘ownership’ but more on regulatory powers of the upstream activities in Sarawak,” Yii said. – June 22, 2018.

Source: https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/56201

Sabah politicians to intervene in Petronas suit

SABAH politicians are eager to intervene in Petronas’ suit to lay exclusive claim on the country’s petroleum resources and to be the regulator of the upstream industry.

Sabah, a petroleum-rich state, stands to lose its rights if the national oil company wins in its suit, said Sabah Star president Jeffrey Kitingan.

He said that while Petronas was relying on the Petroleum Development Act 1974 as the point of its argument, this law was in fact “unconstitutional”.

“The act goes against the federal constitution, which accords the rights of natural resources to the respective states.

“If the state government does not act, Sabah stands to lose all its rights on the oil if Petronas wins its suit,” he said during the Double Six Commemoration in Sembulan, Kota Kinabalu, today.

Petronas earlier this week filed an application before the Federal Court seeking a declaration 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.

The hearing will be on June 12 in at the court in Putrajaya.

The 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 through Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros), a state-owned oil and gas exploration firm formed last year and officially launched in March.

Jeffrey said Gabungan Sabah aims to raise funds to engage lawyers to challenge Petronas’ bid.

He said that the state’s citizens, as stakeholders of Sabah’s natural resources, could take action if the state government did not.

Sabah Progressive Party president Yong Teck Lee said a team of lawyers were already working on building a case against Petronas. – June 6, 2018.

Source: https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/52969

Petronas’ suit a desperate act to hang on to Sarawak oil rights, says activist

PETRONAS’ legal action seeking the Federal Court’s declaration on the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) shows how desperate it is to hang on to the state’s oil and gas resources, one of Sarawak’s more vocal political and rights activists Lina Soo said.

“They must have known that they don’t have control over our oil and gas, so they try to get the Federal Court to shut us up,” Soo, who is also the president of the State Reform Party Sarawak (Star) political party said in reaction to the national oil company asking the apex court to declare that it is the exclusive owner of petroleum resources in Malaysia, including Sarawak, and that it is the regulator for the upstream industry throughout the country.

Soo said Petronas’ legal action reflected Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s long-standing position (when he was prime minister from 1981 to 2003) not to accede to Sarawak and Sabah’s demand for a greater share of its oil and gas resources.

“They just want to avoid paying the 20% oil royalty (Pakatan Harapan promised in its election manifesto) and they will try every means not to pay.”

Soo said Sarawakians should not be surprised if the new PH government would use the RM1 trillion debt as an excuse not to increase the royalty.

The two Borneo territories currently are only getting 5%.

In March, Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said the PDA and the equally controversial law, the Territorial Sea Act 2012 (TSA), are not relevant in Sarawak.

He said since both were federal laws and for any federal law to be implemented in the state, the legislative assembly has to ratify them.

Neither the PDA nor the TSA were ever ratified by the assembly.

“Any law that is ultra vires the constitution under Article 4 of the federal constitution is void,” he said.

Sarawak has also warned all companies in the state’s oil and gas industry and companies intending to do prospecting and mining work to have the necessary licences, permits, leases and approvals required under either the Oil Mining Ordinance or the Gas Distribution Ordinance from July 1.

The state’s newly formed oil company, Petros, will from July 1 also assume full regulatory authority over the upstream and downstream aspects of the oil and gas industry in the state from Petronas.

The state government has yet to react to the Petronas action and the state government spokesman, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office Abdullah Saidol, said the chief minister will issue a statement on this matter “soon”. – June 4, 2018.

Source: https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/52409

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