I was surprised to read a news article posted in The Star and The Malaysian Insider 2 days ago.
Now what I didn't understand was Datuk Shamsul's plans (medium to long term?) for Petronas. Quoting from The Star's report,
"Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) will search for more oil and gas reserves in Malaysia at the expense of overseas exploration and has changed its management structure to have its executive vice-presidents in charge of key operations to shoulder more responsibility. Domestic oil exploration would see Petronas drill deeper for oil and gas on the shallow waters of Malaysia but the company is also looking to increase the amount of oil it pumps out from existing wells in Malaysia."
Petronas' operations were mainly focused on Malaysian shores resources - East and West Malaysia - in the initial stages.
Tan Sri Hassan Marican transformed Petronas rapidly into a global company with oil explorations and business joint ventures with overseas partners.
Approximately 49% of Petronas revenue came from overseas operations under Tan Sri Hassan Marican's leadership.
Now, Datuk Shamsul is saying that Petronas will search for more oil and gas reserves in Malaysia at the expense of overseas exploration.
Clearly, what is in Malaysia belongs to the Malaysian Government since we are a sovereign nation.
And based on Malaysian legislation, Petronas is the sole custodian on behalf of the Government for all oil and gas reserves in Malaysia.
No one has a right to take it, unless some smart leader gives or trades the oil field for something else with another country.
When oil and gas head towards scarcity, by the law of economics, oil and gas prices will go up. No practical alternative energy is available at the moment for oil and gas also.
The oil and gas fields in Malaysia remains a "secure revenue" for Petronas and the Malaysian Government in the long run.
So, it makes little sense to search for more oil and gas reserves in Malaysia at the expense of overseas exploration.
Petronas should continue to explore oil and gas fields overseas with the appropriate risk assessments considered.
Revenue should be generated from oil reserves that belong to other countries first as long as it is profitable even though the contractual bids and exploration incur substantial costs.
If the opportunity is there overseas, why not attempt to grab it ? The "secure revenue" at home won't run away and will stay miles under the sea bed.
Rockybru has a brief summary of what Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas, the hot man favored by the Prime Minister over Tan Sri Hassan Marican, in his "meet the Editors" session recently.
You can read it here : We won't sell KLCC