SBM to expand Malaysian oil and gas operations as regional hub

KUALA LUMPUR: SBM Malaysia Sdn Bhd, an oil and gas services company, plans to spend RM10mil over the next two to three years to step up operations at its Malaysian office, which will also serve as a regional hub for potentially expanding oil and gas services. 

“At the moment, the oil and gas industry is very active. Everybody is struggling for resources and we believe that we can find some here,” Ivan Replumaz, the South-East Asia director for SBM Offshore Contractors Inc, said in an interview here.  

A member of the Netherlands-based SBM Offshore Group, SBM Malaysia is a technology company that would execute turnkey contracts to build floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) or any other floating type equipment required in Asia. 

SBM Offshore Contractors is another company under the group. 

“We are not going to invest in vessels or yards. SBM Malaysia is a technology company and we do not want to invest in heavy equipment,” he said. 

Besides serving the Asian region, he said, SBM Malaysia intends to provide support for the whole group, if their expertise in the engineering and procurement services are required elsewhere. 

In terms of revenue, he said he expects SBM Malaysia to derive one-third of its revenue from the local market with the rest from Asia in the next two years. 

“It also depends on where the oil is found. There are good reserves in Malaysia,” he said. 

The company, he said, is also very aggressive with its recruitment drive, aiming to have at least 300 employees by end-2007, with almost 90% in the technical department. 

“We need people. We plan to recruit more after that, maybe in excess of 500 people, especially young engineers,” he said. 

With a market capitalisation of US$3.8bil (RM14bil), SBM Offshore is among the global leaders in the lease and operation of FPSO in the oil and gas services industry. 

Although the Malaysian outfit was only set up in June this year, SBM Offshore has been operating in the local market over the past two decades, focusing on exporting products or providing services. 

SBM Offshore's other main offices are in Monaco, Houston and Schiedam in the Netherlands. 

“We have chosen Kuala Lumpur for a number of reasons. This is a country where human resources are still affordable for this kind of development,” said Replumaz. 

“This is also where Petronas is based and they are one of our major clients, especially with the FPSO that we are building at the moment for the Kikeh field (Sabah), which is owned both by US-based Murphy Oil and Petronas,” he said. 

“And because Malaysia is a very important oil and gas country, so it is better to be in this country,” he added. – Bernama 

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