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Sabah, a magnet for major O&G players

12th August, 2017

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has become a magnet for major oil and gas industry players to invest following definitive actions taken by the state government in the last decade to boost the industry.

“These are exciting times for the oil and gas industry in Sabah, where now the industry has much of its supporting infrastructures in place.

“Local players too have grown by leaps and bounds, not only in numbers but their capacity to undertake major projects dished out by national oil and gas company Petronas or that of other multinational companies with interest in the industry Sabah,” said Sabah Oil and Gas Services Council Vice Chairman, Datuk Albert Boyou.

He said all these happened because of the strong State government commitment, under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman, for the industry.

“There was a time when many do not know about the industry but when we have proactive leaders in the state who wants to know, it’s only a matter for them to realise there is much that people can benefit from oil and gas,” he said.

A pioneer in the oil and gas industry in Sabah with nearly 40 years of experience, Boyou said Musa took the initiative to understand better about the industry by listening to people, asked the right questions and knocked on the doors of many.

He dismissed suggestions that the government failed in developing the industry and stressed the oil and gas industry was not just about the royalty.

“There are vast opportunities in the industry and we are heading in the right direction with all the plans that has been put in place,” he reiterated.

Historically, people from Sabah had worked in the industry in Sarawak or Brunei in the past but when they returned the industry was limited to merely running kiosks, he said.

“In the last decade or so more opportunities came about and now we get to see more of the younger generation working in the industry. There are also many companies now running projects in the state,” Boyou added.

Key development up and running on land now include the Sabah Oil and Gas Industrial Park (SOGIP) in Sipitang, Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal (SOGT) in Kimanis as well as the Sabah, Sarawak Gas Pipeline (SSGP) that runs 500km from the terminal up to Bintulu, Sarawak.

Off shore, the oil and gas fields are actively running, there is the Kimanis Petroleum Training Centre to prepare skilled human resources to support the industry, Kimanis Power Plant (KPP) and also a move to acquire 10 per cent stake at the Liquefied Natural Gas Sdn Bhd 9 in Bintulu under Petronas.

All these developments in the west coast of Sabah will see the SOGT having a capacity of handling 260,000 barrels of oil and 1,250 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day. All these are supplied from the Kinabalu Non-Associated Gas field southwest of the state via a 120km underwater pipeline.

The KPP has a capacity to produce 300 megawatts and this has been used to meet the growing demand for electricity across the state.

There is also the Sabah Ammonia and Urea Complex (SAMUR), the third fertiliser plant operated by Petronas in the country, with a capacity of producing 2,100 tonnes of fertiliser per day, or up to 1.2 million tonnes annually. SOGIP too has attracted at least RM11 billion worth of investments.

“There’s more. Sabah is now prospecting too in the industry through Sabah International Petroleum Sdn Bhd, an investment arm under the Sabah Development Bank.”

Boyou pointed out the developments such as SOGIP, SAMUR, SOGT, SSGP and KPP all came with Musa at the helm as the Chief Minister and this speaks volumes of his leadership.

“There is a lot we can expect from the industry in the years to come and with more people getting involved as well as having better understanding as well as expertise, Sabah is bound to prosper much from oil and gas,” he said.

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