Petronas and contractors report 19 exploration discoveries

PETROLIAM Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and its petroleum arrangement contractors have reported a significant achievement with 19 exploration discoveries and two exploration-appraisal successes, contributing over one billion barrels of oil equivalent (bboe) of new resources to Malaysia in 2023. 

This success is attributed to an intensified exploration programme pursued in recent years, resulting in the drilling of 25 wells, marking the highest number of exploration wells in a single year since 2015, according to a statement by Petronas. 

More than half of these discoveries were made in the Sarawak Basin, particularly in two clusters within the Balingian and West Luconia geological provinces. 

Additionally, three discoveries were made in the Northwest 

Sabah Basin, including Layang-Layang-1 by Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd, Hikmat-1, and Dermawan-1 by PTT Exploration and Production Public Co Ltd (PTTEP), uncovering new opportunities in ultra-deepwater and deepwater areas. 

Two other discoveries were recorded within the Malay Basin off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. 

Contractors involved in these discoveries include Petronas Carigali, Hibiscus Oil and Gas Malaysia Ltd and Thailand’s PTTEP. 

Petronas Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM) senior VP Mohamed Firouz Asnan noted that this exploration success validates the belief in the untapped potential within matured Malaysian basins. 

The explorations used new 3D seismic data and advanced software technologies for improved detection of deeper hydrocarbon potentials. 

“We fully support our partners’ adoption of new exploration strategies which focus on near-field potential, that will enable quicker monetisation of the discoveries. This is crucial in meeting the rising energy demand not just in Malaysia but also to countries in the region,” he said. 

He added that MPM plans to launch the next series of the Malaysia Bid Round early next year, offering potential investors more exploration blocks and discovered resource opportunities. 

“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,” he said. 

Petronas, through MPM, plays a key role in granting petroleum licences, managing petroleum arrangements and providing stewardship on upstream petroleum activities in Malaysia. TMR

  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition