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Energy Majors Eye A $1B Stake In Malaysian NatGas Asset

Malaysia’s state oil firm Petronas has pushed a plan to sell a US$1-billion stake in a local offshore gas project to the next round of bidding expected to attract international majors including Shell and ExxonMobil, Reuters reported on Monday, citing four people familiar with the plan.

Back in February, Petronas was reportedly planning on selling an up to 49-percent stake in the SK316 offshore gas block in the Sarawak state. A portion of the funds earned from the new sale could be set aside for the future of the Kasawari field, which government estimates say could hold three trillion cubic feet of recoverable hydrocarbons.

Now the asset stake sale, in its second round, is expected to lure half a dozen bidders, including Shell and Exxon, Reuters’ sources said.

According to two of the sources, bidders would be expected to file financial bids in June, with the final decision on the winner expected later this year.

France’s Total SA, Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production PCL, and some Japanese companies are also reportedly willing to bid for the offshore gas project, Reuters’ sources said.

Back in April, Petronas said, referring to media reports about its plans for the SK316 block:

“PETRONAS is interested to explore the latest state-of-the-art technologies for application in the SK316 block with experienced E&P technology partner or partners. As part of this effort, we have invited proposals from selected E&P players to find the right partner(s) with the required capability and solutions. We will be critically evaluating the proposals to maximise the value of this important project.”

Petronas said on Friday that its Q1 2017 after-tax profit more than doubled compared to the same period last year, due to higher realized prices and lower net impairment on assets. The company, however, kept a conservative outlook for the rest of 2017, as “supply and demand balances are still slow to return to a sustained equilibrium.”

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Petronas will be focusing on group-wide efforts to optimize costs and improve efficiency through strategic collaborations within the industry, it noted.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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