Formation of GPS in line with S’wakians’ aspirations – Taib

Taib (fifth right) is welcomed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg (fifth left) and other distinguished guests during his arrival to officiate the  opening of the 18th State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Sitting held at DUN Complex today. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: The formation of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) by leaders in the state government is in line with the aspirations of the people of Sarawak.

Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said the newly formed coalition will provide a solid foundation for the state government in championing for the rights and autonomy of the state.

“I believe that GPS can become a strong and solid political coalition that can unite the people for the well-being and progress of Sarawak,” he said in his address during the opening of the 18th State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Sitting held at DUN Complex here today.

The Head of State also expressed his confidence that GPS will serve as an important platform to claim Sarawak’s rights from the federal government in accordance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Federal Constitution.

“I therefore urge the federal government to give their sincere cooperation to the state government to achieve this goal.”

Taib is also optimistic that the state government will be able to manage the state’s natural resources well particularly oil and gas to ensure that the people in the state can benefit from them.

“I am pleased that the efforts towards managing these resources effectively and sustainably have been implemented.

“I believe that enforcement of laws such as the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 and Gas Distribution Ordinance 2016 will ensure that Sarawak’s valuable oil and gas resources are well established for the future of the people of Sarawak.”

On that matter, he said the establishment of Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) is in line with the state government’s efforts to manage the development of the oil and gas industry in the state.

“This is in line with Sarawak’s aspiration to become the region’s leading oil and gas industry hub and collaborate with Petronas for the interest of the country, in particular Sarawak.

“Therefore, I call on for the rights of Sarawak borders especially maritime borders to be maintained and safeguarded. This is crucial so as to ensure that valuable natural resources such as oil and gas at Sarawak waters be developed and managed for the benefit and prosperity of the state,” he emphasised.

Earlier in his speech, Taib also took the opportunity to congratulate Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on his appointment as the seventh prime minister of Malaysia.

“I am confident that with his vast experience in economy, politics and social, Malaysia will continue to progress and prosper towards Vision 2020,” he said and expressed optimism that under Mahathir’s leadership, the federal government will continue to implement programmes and projects in Sarawak for the well-being of the people.

He also congratulated Pakatan Harapan (PH) on winning the 14th General Election and forming a new federal government.

He hoped that with the mandate given by the people to the PH federal government, the country and citizens will continue to receive benefits in terms of development and prosperity.

Source: http://www.cm.sarawak.gov.my/modules/web/pages.php?mod=news&sub=news_view&nid=2135

Affin Hwang upgrades Petra Energy to buy as risk-reward looks favourable

KUALA LUMPUR: Affin Hwang Capital Research says the risk-reward is looking favourable for Petra Energy and upgraded its rating to buy with a higher 12-month target price of 59 sen.

Accoding to the research house, Petronas has been issuing more contract awards and work orders while Petra Energy has also seen higher work orders for hook-up, construction and commissioning (HuCC) contract to the value of RM150mil.

Meanwhile, the maintanence, construction and modifgication contract with Petronas is also picking up momentum in terms of mor work programmes amounting to RM50mil by our estimates. 

“PENB has recently completed the production enhancement programme and is in the midst of
doing some commissioning work. Based on a back-of-envelope calculation, this will increase targeted production to approximately 5,500–5,800 barrels per day (from 4,500 barrels). 

“We are also positive that the KBM risk service contract (RSC), which is due to expire by mid-2020, stands a good chance of being extended, on the current high oil price and good production track record.”

Affin Hwang also believes that Petra Energy stands a good chance of wiinning a rebid for the HuCC contract for another five years, with a total outstanding orderbook current at RM1.6bil.

With regrds to operating in Sarawak, the research house said it understands that service providers like Petra Energy are still waiting for Petros to award licences although it should not have a problem in getting the licence.

Source: https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2018/07/05/affin-hwang-upgrades-petra-energy-to-buy-as-risk-reward-looks-favourable/

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

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

S’wak to implement O&G regulating laws starting July 1

Abang Johari (centre) with some of the people at the Aidilfitri gathering in MUC hall.

 

SIBU: Sarawak will implement regulating laws for oil and gas activities in the state effective July 1, following the recent dismissal of Petrolisam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas)’s leave application to commence proceedings against the Sarawak government.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this step was in accordance with the laws as stipulated in the Federation Board that needed to be adhered to by all parties.

“This means certain part of the power under The Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) 1958 will be implemented by Petros (Petroleum Sarawak Bhd),” he told reporters when asked to comment on the Federal Court’s decision during the Aidilfitri gathering organised by DUN N55 Nangka at MUC hall here today.

Responding to a related question, Abang Johari said only Sarawak government has the right to manage (oil and gas activities) in the state from the aspect of laws stipulated in the Federation Board and that need to be complied with.

When asked whether Petronas needs to apply for permit from the Sarawak government to be involved in the oil and gas activities in the state after this, Abang Johari said,”what has happened now we have the state laws, which Petronas needs to comply.”

He said Sarawak would not create difficult conditions or abnormal situations for the oil and gas industry in the state and would ensure activities are carried out as smoothly as before.

Among those present were the Chief Minister’s wife, Datin Patinggi Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, Assistant Minister of Technological Research and Education Dr Annuar Rapaee and Temenggong Datuk Wan Hamid Edruce.

Source: http://www.cm.sarawak.gov.my/modules/web/pages.php?mod=news&sub=news_view&nid=2106

Petronas loses bid to challenge Sarawak govt

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has denied leave to Petronas to commence a legal challenge against the Sarawak government over the national oil company’s right to regulate the state’s oil and gas upstream activities.

Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Ahmad Maarop ruled that the declaratory relief sought by Petronas did not come under Article 4 (4) and Article 4 (3) of the Federal Constitution.

Bernama quoted Justice Ahmad as saying that the declaratory relief sought by Petronas was not within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Court but came under the jurisdiction of the High Court.

He dismissed yesterday the Petronas application for leave to commence proceedings against the Sarawak government and ordered the national oil company to pay RM50,000 in costs to the state government.

Meanwhile, Petronas withdrew its application for a stay order in respect to the Sarawak government’s commencement to regulate upstream activities in the state under the Sarawak Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO) beginning July 1.

Petronas would be required to comply with the OMO and must have the requisite licences or leases by July 1, failing which the upstream activities carried out by Petronas would be illegal and appropriate action would be taken.

The stay application was heard before a Federal Court three-man bench comprising Justice Ahmad and Federal Court judges Justices Azahar Mohamed and Zaharah Ibrahim, after Justice Ahmad dismissed Petronas’ leave application.

The bench struck out the stay ap­­pli­cation following the withdrawal.

Petronas had filed an application on June 6 for leave to commence proceedings under Article 4 (4) of the Federal Constitution to seek a declaration that the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) applied in respect of the regulation of upstream activities in Sarawak.

It sought the court’s declaration that the PDA was duly enacted by Parliament, and it states that Petronas is the exclusive regulatory authority for the upstream industry throughout Malaysia, including in Sarawak.

The company had sought a declaration that the OMO was impliedly repealed by the PDA.

Petronas was represented by lawyer Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar while Sarawak state legal counsel Datuk Seri J.C. Fong appeared for the state government.

In a statement later, Petronas said its leave application was declined based solely on technical ground.

“The Federal Court did not in any way determine or endorse the merits of the legal position taken by the Government of Sarawak to regulate upstream petroleum activity under its Oil Mining Ordinance 1958.”

It said the court also noted the concession by the Government of Sarawak that the PDA was validly enacted.

“This reinforces Petronas’ view that only Parliament can legislate on matters relating to upstream petroleum industry including regulatory powers throughout Malaysia, both onshore and offshore by virtue of the PDA.”

It said the court decision did not in any way impair Petronas’ ability to further pursue its legal actions, with the intent to seek clarity on its rights and position under the PDA.

In Kuching, the Chief Minister’s Office welcomed the Federal Court outcome, saying that the decision paved the way for the state government to enforce its state laws from July 1.

It said in a statement that Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros) would be delegated with the powers to implement OMO.

Sarawak had announced in March that it would assume full regulatory authority over oil and gas activities in the state by July 1.

This would require all those involved in the oil and gas industry in Sarawak to obtain the necessary licences and permits.

Source: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/06/23/petronas-loses-bid-to-challenge-sarawak-govt/

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

Sarawak welcomes dismissal of Petronas’ case over state oil rights

KUCHING: The Sarawak government has welcomed the Federal Court’s decision to dismiss Petronas’ application for leave to commence proceedings to determine that the national oil company is the sole regulatory authority of all upstream oil and gas activities in the country, including Sarawak.

The Chief Minister’s Office said the decision paved the way for the Sarawak government to enforce its state laws from July 1 as announced earlier this year.

“Our Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) would like to thank our state legal team and all Sarawakians for their solid support and prayers for Sarawak to exercise its constitutional rights related to oil and gas activities in Sarawak,” the office said in a statement on Friday (June 22).

It added that Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros) would be given the appropriate powers to implement the state’s Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) 1958.

Earlier on Friday, Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop rejected Petronas’ application of leave to commence proceedings against the state government in Federal Court.

He held that the declarations sought by Petronas did not come within the jurisdiction of the Federal Court and should have been brought before the High Court instead.

Petronas had sought declarations that the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) applied to the regulatory control of upstream activities in Sarawak and that it repealed the OMO by implication.

This came in the wake of Sarawak setting up Petros, its own oil and gas company, as the regulator of oil and gas activities in the state based on the OMO.

Abang Johari had announced in March that Sarawak would assume full regulatory authority over oil and gas activities in the state by July 1.

This would require all persons and companies involved in the oil and gas industry in Sarawak to obtain the necessary licences and permits required by the state’s laws.

Source: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/06/22/sarawak-welcomes-dismissal-of-petronas-case/

Federal Court turns down Petronas bid to challenge Sarawak

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has dismissed Petroliam Nasional Bhd’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 Malaya Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop had on Friday morning rejected Petronas’ application of leave to commence proceeding on the matter in the Federal Court. 

Petronas had last month filed an application to seek a declaration from the Federal Court on matters pertaining to the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) and its position with regard to the regulatory controls of upstream activities in Sarawak. 

This came in the wake of Sarawak setting up its own oil and gas company, Petros, as the regulator of oil and gas activities in the state based on Sarawak Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO). 

Petronas is seeking a declaration that the OMO was repealed by the PDA and hence Petros is not valid.

Petronas is seeking a declaration that the PDA was duly enacted by Parliament and stated that Petronas is the exclusive regulatory authority for the upstream industry throughout Malaysia, including in Sarawak.
 

Source: https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2018/06/22/federal-court-turns-down-petronas-bid-to-challenge-sarawak/

Sabah granted observer status in Petronas vs Sarawak case

PETALING JAYA: The Sabah government will be participating as an observer in the legal proceeding between Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and the Sarawak government, which will be held on June 21.

In a letter dated June 11, the Federal Court granted the Sabah Attorney General’s (AG) application to attend the hearing as a “watching brief”.

A watching brief functions as an observer in a proceeding in which one was not directly or immediately concerned. Sabah AG Dayangku Fazidah Hatun Pg Bagul submitted the application to the Federal Court on June 5 to attend the hearing as a watching brief, stating that any decision from the case would have an impact on the state.

Last week, Petronas challenged the Sarawak government by taking legal action in seeking a declaration that the national oil company is the sole governing authority for upstream oil and gas (O&G) activities in Malaysia for both onshore and offshore.

The case by Petronas, which was filed on June 4, said the national oil company was seeking the declaration that the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) supersedes the Sarawak Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO) , the law the state has used as its basis for setting up its own O&G company Petros (Petroleum Sarawak Bhd) as the sole authority for O&G activities in Sarawak.

On Monday, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said he had asked the state AG to monitor the legal case by Petronas against the Sarawak government as it would have an implication on the state.

Petronas filed another document on June 8 to seek a court order to preserve the status quo until the legal case was resolved.

The court hearing to seek leave was postponed to June 21 from June 12.

Following that, the Sarawak government issued a statement to express its “deep disappointment” with the decision by the Federal Court to postpone a hearing over the state’s rights on its O&G resources.

The state government said it would consider all other options to protect and enforce its constitutional rights.

“The state government would not allow Petronas to disrespect and disregard our rights to regulate the upstream activities under our laws such as the OMO and the Land Code,” it said.

Source: https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2018/06/13/sabah-granted-observer-status-in-petronas-vs-sarawak-case/

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