KUCHING: The Sahabat Maritim programme is an efficient platform for oil-and-gas companies and enforcement agencies to engage with fishermen on safety around offshore platforms.
Repsol Oil and Gas Malaysia Ltd stakeholder relations manager Farid Jaafar said the programme was a collaborative effort between Petronas, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and oil-and-gas companies.
“I think Sahabat Maritim is an excellent initiative. In the past we used to do things separately. It makes more sense to collaborate as we all work in the same area, namely offshore in the South China Sea.
“The Sahabat Maritim programme allows us all to collaborate and jointly engage the fishing community. It makes it more efficient,” he said at a media briefing on Repsol’s projects here yesterday.
Farid said the programme began in Sabah before being expanded to peninsular Malaysia.
“We go around to different places to communicate with fishermen. In Sabah we did one in Pulau Mantanani, in Terengganu we did one in Kemaman and just last week we went to Tumpat, Kelantan, to engage the community.
“We will continue to do this in the future because there is value in reminding people about safety regulations. We support the programme and we think it is beneficial to all parties, not just us but the local communities too,” he said.
According to Farid, encroachment by fishermen into the 500m safety radius around offshore platforms is a major issue faced by oil- and-gas companies.
He advised fishermen to abide by the regulations for their own safety.
“We do not want to see anybody get hurt. There is a reason why those requirements and regulations are there. Just follow them and we can get on with our livelihoods in a much safer way,” he said.
Farid also said safety was of “paramount importance” to Repsol, both in the fabrication and operation of its facilities.
He noted that the ongoing Kinabalu and Bunga Pakma projects, awarded to Sarawak-based OceanMight Sdn Bhd, had achieved significant safety milestones with no lost time injury so far.