Illustration; Source: Petronas

Petronas, Shell, Inpex, Pertamina, and Jadestone among winners of Malaysian offshore blocks

Malaysia is anticipating more investments in hydrocarbon exploration activities with the award of production sharing contracts (PSCs) for six exploration blocks and one discovered resource opportunities (DRO) cluster, marketed under the Malaysia Bid Round 2023 (MBR 2023).

Illustration; Source: Petronas

Malaysia’s Petronas outlined that the seven PSCs were awarded to Petronas Carigali, E&P Malaysia Venture (EPMV), Petroleum Sarawak Exploration & Production (PSEP), SMJ Energy (SMJ Energy), Inpex Malaysia E&P, PT Pertamina Malaysia Eksplorasi Produksi, Jadestone Energy, Sarawak Shell, and E&P O&M Services (EPOMS). These PSCs are expected to garner more than RM 1.3 billion ($274.75 million) worth of capital investment in the form of exploration work activities.

During the award ceremony held in Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Ir. Bacho Pilong, Senior Vice President of Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM), commented: “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. With these awards, all exploration blocks 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.”  

Source: Petronas

Petronas explains that the blocks under the PSCs span three regions in offshore Malaysia, comprising two blocks in offshore Peninsular Malaysia, three blocks off the coast of Sarawak, and one exploration block and one DRO cluster situated off the coast of Sabah. While Petronas Carigali signed PSCs for blocks PM342, PM428, SK330, SK510, 5E, and SB403, EPOMS only got one for the Bambazon Cluster, and Jadestone secured the PSC for Block PM428.

On the other hand, EPMV penned PSCs for blocks PM342, SK330, and SB403; PSEP inked PSCs for blocks SK330, SK510, and 5E; Inpex and Pertamina won a PSC for Block SK510; Shell got its hands on PSC for Block 5E; and SMJ Energy secured the PSC for Block SB403.

Petronas underscores that the development of these resources is aligned with its efforts to ensure energy security, including initiatives to create a more sustainable upstream industry, underlying the firm’s commitment to a lower carbon future.

Five more offshore blocks up for grabs in MBE 2024

The Malaysia Bid Round 2024 (MBR 2024), themed ‘Transforming Your Future with Advantaged Energy,’ has also been launched, offering five exploration blocks and five clusters of DRO to potential investors. These exploration blocks are located in emerging basins: Langkasuka Basin in the Straits of Melaka, Semporna, and Sandakan basins off the eastern coast of Sabah. The MBR 2024 bid deadline submission is on August 1, 2024.

Petronas emphasizes that the newly acquired multi-client data over these basins improves the subsurface imaging and offers “a fresh look” at multiple geological plays with large potential. While three offered DRO clusters are within the shallow waters of Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, two DRO clusters are situated within the deepwater realm of Sabah, close to nearby existing facilities,  enabling quick monetization.  

Petronas is among the companies that recently inked PSCs with Staatsolie for blocks offshore Suriname. During 2023, the Malaysian player, together with its petroleum agreement contractors, recorded 19 exploration discoveries and two exploration-appraisal successes in Malaysia.

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Apart from issuing and managing petroleum arrangements, Petronas, through MPM, is Malaysia’s oil and gas industry shaper and investment enabler that steers the country’s upstream petroleum activities.