• Natural Gas News

    Petronas Invites Bids for 13 Malaysian Blocks


The Malaysian state firm is offering new production-sharing terms to help entice investors.

by: Joe Murphy

Posted in:

Natural Gas & LNG News, Asia/Oceania, Corporate, Exploration & Production

Petronas Invites Bids for 13 Malaysian Blocks

Malaysian state oil company Petronas has invited bid for exploration rights to 13 blocks in its latest Malaysia Bid Round (MBR), aiming to draw more investment into the country's upstream sector.

Three of the blocks, PM340, PM327 and PM342, are situated in the Malay basin, and a further four, SB409, SB412, 2W and X, are in the Sabah basin, Petronas said on March 1. Six more, ND3A, SK4E, SK328, SK427, SK439 and SK440, are in the Sarawak basin, where Thailand's PTTEP made a major gas discovery last month.

PM342, SK4E, SK328 and SB409 contain six discovered fields, while ND3A, SK4E, 2W and X are in deep waters off the coast of Sarawak and Sabah, where many of Malaysia's biggest finds have been made in recent years.

MBRs take place annually and offer exploration blocks and discovered but undeveloped resources, as well as late-life assets and study opportunities.

"Whilst the MBR this year focuses on exploration blocks, the opportunities around late-life assets and undeveloped smaller discovered fields will be made available in the second half of this year," Petronas said.

Petronas will also introduce new production-sharing contract (PSC) terms for this year's round. It will apply an enhanced profitability term at the nine shallow-water blocks. Based on feedback from the industry, this regime's aim is to provide players with more attractive returns on investment. Petronas will also provide extra incentives at small-sized and late-life assets.

In addition, Petronas is offering more flexible terms at larger-sized blocks, providing operators with the option to emerge two adjacent blocks under one PSC, transfer minimum work commitments between two PSCs and have phased exploration periods.

Petronas is offering a further three large areas for study opportunities. The first is the area south of the Malay basin in Peninsular Malaysia, while the second and third areas span the deep waters north of Luconia extending northeastwards to Sabah.

"As an industry, we need to continue with exploration activities to seize the immense opportunities that the energy transition presents. If we don’t, we would then position ourselves out of the new energy equation," Petronas' senior vice president for Malaysia Petroleum Management, Mohamed Firouz Asnan, said.

Malaysia offers "advantaged barrels", he said. "We hope to see new investors this year, including existing players to further grow their portfolio in Malaysia."