Fire breaks out at Petronas’ gas pipeline in Sarawak; one fatality reported

Malaysian energy company Petronas has confirmed that a fire incident occurred at the Sabah-Sarawak gas pipeline (SSGP) nearby Lawas, Sarawak.

Illustration only. Source: Petronas

As informed, the incident occurred on 16 November and, according to local media reports, it is the first fatal incident at the SSGP.

Based on the reports from Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Sarawak operation centre, one man was killed and three others were injured in an explosion at the 500-kilometre-long pipeline.

Petronas said the incident is believed to have involved a third-party contractor performing work unrelated to SSGP operations nearby the pipeline’s Right-of-Way (ROW) area.

The company stated that a police report has been lodged with regard to this incident, adding that an investigation will commence in earnest.

“Petronas’ emergency response team has been mobilised to the area. The company will work closely with all the relevant authorities to take the necessary action and preventive measures to contain the situation and safeguard the safety of the surrounding community and environment”, the Malaysian company said in a statement.

In October, Petronas declared force majeure (FM) on the gas supply to MLNG Dua due to a pipeline leak caused by soil movement in the vicinity of the Sabah-Sarawak gas pipeline that occurred on 21 September 2022.

Since 2014, when the pipeline started transporting gas, four incidents occurred at this part of Petronas’s Sabah–Sarawak integrated oil and gas project.

On 11 June 2014, a section of the pipeline located between Lawas and Long Sukang in Sarawak exploded, causing a temporary shutdown of the line.

On 10 January 2018, an explosion and gas leak occurred which was followed by a gas leak at Long Segaman in Lawas on 8 May 2019.

Prior to the latest incident, a section of the pipeline in the district of Maduri exploded on 13 January 2020.