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Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) applied to the regulatory control of upstream activities in Sarawak and that it repealed the OMO by implication.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