Shell and Petronas Carigali among winners in Malaysia award fest

Malaysia’s national energy behemoth Petronas has awarded production sharing contracts (PSCs) for six exploration blocks and one discovered resource opportunities (DRO) cluster, which were offered under the Malaysia Bid Round 2023 (MBR 2023) and are expected to see combined investments totalling more than 1.3 billion ringgit ($274.5 million) in exploration ventures alone.

The seven new PSCs were awarded to national upstream company Petronas Carigali, Shell, Inpex, E&P Malaysia Venture (EPMV), Petroleum Sarawak Exploration & Production (PSEP), Jadestone Energy, SMJ Energy, Indonesia’s national oil company Pertamina and E&P O&M Services (EPOMS).

“This is a great start to 2024. The award of the seven PSCs from MBR 2023 is a testament to the investors’ confidence in Malaysia as a promising E&P investment destination,” commented Bacho Pilong, senior vice president of Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM).

“With these awards, all exploration blocks [in the] offshore Sarawak basin and Northwest Sabah basin have been fully licensed. Similarly in Peninsular Malaysia, we are pleased to see the ever-growing demand in its proven basins, which are supported by well-established and easily accessible infrastructure.

“Collaborative efforts between Petronas and industry players have played a pivotal role in attracting investments and fostering economic growth in the country,” he added.

The blocks under the PSCs span three regions in offshore Malaysia comprising two blocks in offshore Peninsular Malaysia and three blocks off the coast of Sarawak, as well as one exploration block and one DRO cluster situated off the coast of Sabah.

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Petronas Carigali and EPMV were awarded Block PM 342, while Jadestone and Petronas Carigali picked up Block PM 428, both offshore Peninsular Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Petronas Carigali teamed up with EPMV and PSEP for Block SK 330 offshore Sarawak, while its partners for Block SK 510 — also off the Sarawak coast — are Inpex, Pertamina and PSEP.

Inpex noted that the 1864-square kilometre shallow-water Block SK 510 is its third exploration asset in Malaysia, following blocks 4E and SK 418 that were awarded last February.

The Japanese company said that Block SK510 is expected to contribute to its previously announced business shift to natural gas while expanding the company’s operations in Southeast Asia, one of its core business areas.

In tandem, the MBR 2023 winners for Block 5E were operator Shell and partners Petronas Carigali and PSEP, and Petronas Carigali with co-venturers EPMV and SMJ was awarded Block SB 403 offshore Sabah, East Malaysia.

EPOMS was awarded the PSC for the Bambazon Cluster DRO.

Petronas said development of these resources is very much aligned with its efforts to ensure energy security and create a more sustainable upstream industry, underlying the group’s commitment to a lower carbon future.

Also on Tuesday, Petronas launched Malaysia Bid Round 2024 (MBR 2024), offering five exploration blocks and five DRO clusters to potential investors.

Themed ‘Transforming Your Future with Advantaged Energy’, MBR 2024 was attended by more than 50 oil and gas companies, government agencies, foreign trade attaches and energy market consultants.

Emerging basins

The five exploration blocks are located in emerging basins — the Langkasuka basin in the Straits of Melaka and the Semporna and Sandakan basins off the eastern coast of Sabah — where newly acquired multiclient data has improved subsurface imaging and offers a fresh look at multiple geological plays with large potential.

Three of the DRO clusters offered are within the shallow waters of Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, and the other two are located in the deepwater realm of Sabah near to existing facilities, which offer fast-track development potential.

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