KUCHING: Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros), in collaboration with oil majors from several countries, is participating in 17 offshore blocks.
Five of these offshore blocks are in production, two blocks are in development phase and the remaining 10 blocks have commenced exploration activities, according to Sarawak deputy premier and International Trade, Industry and Investment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.
He said state-owned Petros is involved in these activities in partnership with SKEO from South Korea, Inpex from Japan, PTTEP from Thailand, Longboat Energy from Norway, Shell and Petroliam Nasional Bhd, involving more than RM3.5bil of investments over the next three years.
As for the five offshore blocks which are in production and two blocks under development, he said there are plans to invest over RM8.5bil over the next three years.
“In addition, Petros and Petra Energy Bhd have commenced drilling activities in onshore block SK433 in Miri. Petros has also completed the prospectivity study for onshore block SK334 in Limbang and Lawas area,” Awang Tengah told the Sarawak state assembly last week.
He said Petros will continue to be actively involved in upstream activities,especially in rejuvenating onshore exploration and commercialisation.
In the midstream and downstream activities, he said Sarawak is now in the midst of developing four gas hubs – in Bintulu, Samalaju, Miri and Kuching – under the Sarawak Roadmap to provide access to gas, green energy and carbon capture infrastructure to enable the industries to achieve zero emission target by 2050.
For the Bintulu hub, he said the Petchem Industrial Park is rapidly developing, with the RM7bil methanol plant project at pre-commissioning stage and the RM363mil medical glove project under construction.
“Meanwhile, one sour gas commercialisation project of RM23bil is at construction stage and three other projects are expected to reach final investment decision in 2024,” he added.
Two of the projects are hydrogen projects worth RM24bil and the third a sour gas project.
For the Samalaju hub (also in Bintulu), Awang Tengah said Petros will invest in a pipeline to deliver gas to industries in Samalaju Industrial Park, which caters mainly for energy-intensive industries, by end-2025.
“This will enable the commissioning of one gigawatt (GW) combined cycle gas turbine power plant by Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB).
On the Miri hub, he said Petros is developing a 500MW combined cycle gas turbine power plant in collaboration with SEB. The plant is scheduled to be operational by 2027.
As for the upcoming Kuching hub, he said Petros has completed the feasibility study.
Awang Tengah said the Sarawak government had approved in principle a licence to Petros for carbon storage activities on about 1.32 million ha of Miri-Bintulu waters.
The move, he said,is to facilitate carbon trading activities to be more systematic and orderly.
“Moreover, the issuance of the licence is to support Malaysia’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gases to net-zero by 2050,” he added.
The Sarawak assembly has also approved the Environment (Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Emission) Bill 2023.
Besides, the Sarawak government has conducted a study on Sarawak Climate Change Policy and Low Carbon Society Blueprints in Cities and Towns (Kuching, Miri, Sibu and Bintulu) to draft mitigation and adaptation measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen climate resilience.
Sarawak, according to Awang Tengah, is the first region in Malaysia to legislate and regulate carbon activity through the land and forestry sector as contained in amendments to the Sarawak Land Code and Forests Ordinance 2015 approved last year.
He said carbon trading activity is a new potential to generate income from forest resources in Sarawak.
Only one carbon study permit has been issued to a local company to study and assess the actual potential of an area to carry out carbon activities.
“Three more carbon study permits are in the final process where one of them involves a blue carbon study in mangrove forest areas,” he said.
“Blue carbon refers to the carbon stores in the marine ecosystem mainly by mangrove forests and seagrass.
“These ecosystems play an important role in the absorption and storage of large quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
“Therefore,activities involving conservation in relation to blue carbon are very important to balance the absorption of carbon consistently in the future,” said the deputy premier.