Petronas sees stronger 2017 results as earnings surge in Q3

President and CEO Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin: Petronas) spent about RM500mil on talent management as well as on leadership training and competency building for its 51,000 employees last year.

KUALA LUMPUR: Petroliam Nasional Bhd posted a strong set of results for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017 and forecasts the group’s overall year-end performance to be better than last year as oil price recovers and due to efficiency improvement.

The national oil company said in a statement issued on Thursday profit after tax (PAT) rose 64% to RM10bil from RM6.10bil, underpinned by improved performances of its upstream and downstream businesses.

“In light of modest recovery in oil price and the continued drive for efficiency improvement, Petronas expects the group’s overall year-end performance to be better than last year. This would be supported by recovering commodity prices, stronger margins as well as its on-going group-wide transformation initiatives,” it said.

Petronas' revenue increased by 14% to RM53.7bil due to higher average realised prices for major products and impact of foreign exchange rate.

Commenting on the higher profits, Petronas said it benefited from higher revenue in addition to lower net impairment on assets and well costs. This was partially offset by higher tax expenses, product costs and amortisation of oil and gas properties.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) grew to RM21.5bil from RM15.2bil in the corresponding quarter last year in line with higher profit before tax (PBT).

Petronas' capital investments for Q3 were RM12.5bil, mainly due to the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project in Johor.

For the nine  months ended Sept 30, 2017, Petronas Group recorded a 15% increase in revenue at RM161.8 bil, mainly due to the impact of higher average realised prices and the impact of foreign exchange rate.

Cumulative PAT jumped by 118% to RM27.3bil from RM12.5bil in the previous corresponding period, primarily due to lower net impairment on assets and well costs. 

The stronger ringgit versus the US dollar saw total assets dip to RM600.3bil as at Sept 30, 2017 compared to RM603.4 billion as at Dec 31, 2016 due to stronger ringgit against US sollar.

Shareholders’ equity decreased to RM380.3bil mainly due to the final dividend of RM13bil to the government declared for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2016 and the interim dividend of RM3bil declared for financial year ending Dec 31, 2017, as well as foreign exchange rate impact partially offset by profit generated during the period.

Its gearing ratio decreased to 17.3% as at Sept 30, 2017 from 17.4% end-Dec  2016. ROACE increased to 8.6% from 5.4% in line with higher profit recorded.


Petronas president and group CEO Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said: “We remain committed to improving efficiency across our operations, and will continue to focus on our transformation initiatives which have produced tangible results. 

“We intend to enhance our efforts to take advantage of the current recovery in oil prices for Petronas to close the year strongly.” 


• The total production volume for the cumulative period ended 30 September 2017 was 2.30 million barrels equivalent (BOE) per day compared to 2.34 million BOE per day in the same period last year. Total production entitlement decreased to 1.74 million BOE per day from 1.76 million BOE per day compared to the same period last year. This was mainly due to lower Iraq production entitlement, lower production in Canada and higher decline rate in JDA and Egypt.

• However, an increase in gas production was recorded from Kebabangan and NC3 fields. Two greenfield projects were brought on-stream in the third quarter of 2017 – Kumang F12 and B15, both offshore East Malaysia, contributing to 24 million standard cubic feet per day.

• Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) sales recorded a 2 per cent increase in volume compared to the same period last year mainly attributable to the higher volume from Train 9, Gladstone LNG and Egyptian LNG coupled with new volume from Petronas Floating LNG 1.

• Meanwhile, continuous efforts in cash management and cost optimisation, including re-basing cost in the upstream business, have recorded RM1.9 billion in savings for the cumulative period ended 30 September 2017 through improved efficiencies and innovation in the value chain.

• Petronas  signed an agreement with PTT Global LNG (PTTGL) for PTTGL’s 10 per cent equity participation in Petronas NG 9 Sdn. Bhd, as well as a long-term Sale and Purchase Agreement with S-Oil Corporation for the supply of LNG.  


• Downstream business recorded a cumulative PAT of RM8.6 billion for the period ended 30 September 2017. This was mainly driven by sustained operational performance, lower operating costs as well as higher product prices.

• Downstream Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) was 94.5 per cent with refineries in Kertih, Malaysia and Durban, South Africa recording 99.4 per cent and 99.9 per cent respectively. Crude and petroleum products continued to capture higher margins which was attributed by focused trading strategies.

• Petrochemicals business sustained its operational performance and recorded plant utilisation at 91 per cent. Sales volume for the period ended 30 September 2017 increased by 9 per cent compared to last year, mainly contributed by additional volume from the commissioning of Petronas Chemicals Fertiliser Sabah Sdn Bhd (SAMUR Project) in May 2017.

• The Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) has achieved 81 per cent completion as at November 2017 and remains on track to achieve ready for start-up status in 2019.

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