PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Halim Saad is considering assigning the exploration rights for a new oil and gas (O&G) field in Kazakhstan to SUMATEC RESOURCES BHD, which is on the verge of completing its regularisation plan by next month.
The new field, known as the Beta oil field, would be the second field after the Rakushechnoye O&G field in Kazakhstan that Sumatec would have rights to if Halim decides to do so, those in the know claimed.
When combined, both fields would have sizeable O&G resources for exploration over the next 20 to 30 years, they said.
The Beta field – covering an area of 248 sq km – is said to hold 105.97 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe). It is located in the northern side of the Mangystau province, which is known for its rich O&G resources.
Halim, when contacted yesterday, declined to comment on the Beta field but did say that “I am always on the lookout for new O&G fields”.
Halim is Sumatec’s major shareholder and holds the concession for the Rakushechnoye and Beta fields via his private companies. He had earlier assigned the rights to extract O&G at the Rakushechnoye field to Sumatec.
Upon completion of the regularisation exercise, Halim will own 25% equity stake in Sumatec, down from 27% at present. The new Sumatec board will comprise former attorney-general Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman (chairman), and directors Datuk Ahmad Johari Abdul Razak, Datuk Mohd Nasir Ahmad, Datuk Shireen Ann Zaharah Muhiudeen, Mohamad Ismail, Michael Lim Hee Kiang, Datuk Che Mokhtar Che Ali, James Chan Yok Peng, Wan Kamaruddin Biji Sura and Christopher Layton Dalton (also the CEO).
Halim, the corporate player of yesteryear, is making a comeback to the corporate sector via the O&G sector which is seen to be growing at a fast pace. He is one of the early birds to have scouted around for O&G fields in eastern Europe.
Sumatec has been bleeding red ink for the past five years and has been categorised as a Practice Note 17 (PN17) company since April 2011. As part of its regularisation plan to exit its PN17 status, it also has a rights issue to raise RM453mil. The proceeds will be used to fund its O&G activities at the Rakushechnoye oil field. With the O&G extraction works at the field, Sumatec is projecting RM86mil in profit for its current financial year ending Dec 31, 2013, and RM69mil for 2014.
For the Rakushechnoye field alone, Sumatec has direct access to oil reserves and gas resources of up to 331 mmboe.
“First, we have to discover more oil, and if we strike more, there would be more reserves. Most of the proven reserves are within 10% of the total area of the field in the north.
He added that upon the completion of its regularisation exercise, Sumatec would be the only “onshore O&G exploration company to be listed on Bursa Malaysia”.
Sumatec’s rights shares fell in active trade yesterday in what was its first day of trade, down nine sen to 10 sen. The mother share fell 3.5 sen to 29.5 sen.
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