New hydrocarbon discoveries in 2023 bring Malaysia more than 1 billion boe
After upping the hydrocarbon exploration ante, Malaysia’s energy giant Petronas, together with its petroleum agreement contractors, has recorded 19 exploration discoveries and two exploration-appraisal successes in the country, contributing over 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) of new resources in 2023.
Petronas’ exploration program saw the drilling of 25 wells, which is the highest number of exploration wells drilled in a single year since 2015. According to the company, more than half of the discoveries were made in the Sarawak Basin, primarily in two clusters within the Balingian and West Luconia geological provinces. Some of the notable discoveries are Gedombak-1, Sinsing-1, Machinchang-1, and Mirdanga-1 by Petronas Carigali, along with Babadon-1 and Chenda-1 by Thailand’s PTTEP.
Mohamed Firouz Asnan, Petronas’ Senior Vice President of Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM), commented: “This significant exploration success validates our belief that there is more potential within the so-called matured Malaysia’s basins, using new 3D seismic data and the latest software technologies to better detect deeper hydrocarbon potentials.
“We fully support our partners’ adoption of new exploration strategies which focus on near-field potential, that will enable quicker monetization of the discoveries. This is crucial in meeting the rising energy demand not just in Malaysia but also in countries in the region.”
Furthermore, three discoveries were made in the Northwest Sabah Basin: Layang-Layang-1 by Petronas Carigali, as well as Hikmat-1 and Dermawan-1 by PTTEP, which proved a working petroleum system that unravels new opportunities in the ultra-deepwater and deepwater areas. Currently, another drilling campaign is ongoing within the same basin in the shallow waters off the coast of Sabah.
In addition, two other discoveries were made within the Malay Basin. While Hibiscus Oil & Gas Malaysia found gas in Bunga Lavatera-1 well near the PM3 hub, and brought it on stream with a flow rate of about 50 mmscf per day within the same year, PTTEP found oil and gas in Simpoh Beludu-1, having penetrated the hydrocarbon-filled reservoir in the deeper Group K sands.
“MPM will be launching the next series of the Malaysia Bid Round early next year, offering more exploration blocks and discovered resources opportunities to potential investors. The strong support from producing states as well as the federal government has been crucial in the success of the country’s resource base growth,” added Asnan.
Petronas is also engaged in energy-related activities outside Malaysia. The firm recently revealed plans to pool resources with Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) to explore potential collaboration opportunities in the upstream, renewable energy, and downstream sectors in Vietnam.