Oil and gas search in East Coast

Published on: Thursday, August 26, 2021

By: David Thien

KOTA KINABALU: Oil and gas exploration on and off Sabah’s east coast has started with the recent award of Sabah Block 405 (see red circle marked in map) to ConocoPhillips and Petronas Carigali.

This is set to bolster offshore exploration activities off the east coast of Sabah, according to O&G industry players, and deep-water ports like Lahad Datu are poised to benefit from more of such developments, if properly equipped with talents and facilities.

“The recent award of SB405 is expected to open up opportunities near East Coast Sabah,” said Ir. Mohamed Firouz Asnan, Petronas upstream business senior vice president for Malaysia petroleum management, in his presentation on “Oil and Gas in Sabah: Opportunities & Challenges” at the BIMP-EAGA Energy Online Conference & Exhibition, recently.

“Several blocks there offer further opportunities and East Coast Sabah would benefit from integrated development.”

He said the development of marginal resources in oil and gas exploration for the east coast of Sabah is considered challenging, as it is a frontier area with a lack of oil and gas infrastructure.


What is needed is low-cost, fit-for-purpose new technology for integrated upstream-downstream development, Ir. Mohamed Firouz said.

“Opportunities also exist in small fields which require niche operators with innovative solutions to monetise,” he said, noting that such fields require cost-efficiency and economies of scale as among the challenges besides limited data and limited pool of competent low-cost operators with strong financials.

For industry players, a broad range of opportunities await them, and for service providers, their cost competitiveness would be able to support more projects, growing the industry for shared success.

“Petronas continues to nurture a strong ecosystem to support the eff