Wednesday, March 24, 2010

So who is lying now? Petronas or Ku Li?

Petronas denies oil field find

KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas has strongly denied reports that it has made a big discovery of an oil field which is said to be one of the biggest in the world.

“We adopt a well-established reporting process whereby we make progress report to the board and stake holders as well as to the Government.

“There is no way we are hiding any information with regards to the discovery as we have no intention to hide any news,” exploration and production business vice-president Ramlan A Malek told a media briefing yesterday.

He added that an announcement would have already been made if the company had found a big oil field.

Former Petronas chairman Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had reportedly claimed that Petronas had discovered a huge tract of oil reserve that could significantly reduce oil prices.

Razaleigh said it was the prerogative of the Prime Minister to give Petronas the green light to start extracting oil from newly-discovered fields.

To this, Ramlan said although the company did not rule out the possibility of discovering a huge oil field in the future, it was unlikely to find such an oil field in the country.

“At this moment, there are no announcements of huge oil field discovery in this region. The most recent discovery was in Brazil of a huge oil field that can produce about five to eight billion barrels,” he said.

He added that Malaysia’s current oil production of about 600,000 barrels per day was just a fraction of the total world oil production and this would unlikely affect global crude oil prices.

For future plans, Ramlan said Petronas would venture into deep-water reservoir exploration in the country.

“This will involve a huge amount of investment as we are dealing with quite a challenging environment. An average investment to drill in shallow water is about US$10mil (RM33.2mil) but for deepwater it can go up to as high as US$100mil (RM333.2mil),” he said.

Ramlan said Petronas would continue to drill an average of 30 wells per year in Sabah, Terengganu and Sarawak.

The country’s oil reserves can last until 2017 if there is no new discovery.

Apart from local exploration and production, Petronas has operations in 30 other countries as equity partners with some major international oil and gas players.

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