KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah state government is open to discussions with industry players to ensure they can take the oil and gas (O&G) industry to even higher levels of success and create employment opportunities for locals.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the state government wanted solid partnerships and strategic collaborations that could steer the course of this lucrative industry onto the path to success.
“To fully reap the enormous benefits of this sector, we must address the challenges that are synonymous with it in Sabah,” he said at the launch of the Sabah Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition (SOGCE), yesterday.
He said the state government had in December last year amended the Mining Ordinance 1960 to the Mining (Amendment) Enactment 2018 to better manage income from Sabah’s mineral resources such as oil and gas.
Mohd Shafie said the amendment also allowed Sabah to collect sales tax on natural resources extracted from its waters, as well as revenue from petroleum products.
The move could further boost the O&G industry in Sabah, he added. The chief minister said according to the Oil & Gas Journal (OGJ), Malaysia held oil reserves of 3.6 billion barrels as of January 2017, the fourth highest reserves in the Asia Pacific.
He said with major oil and gas deposits, Sabah had long been a key part of Malaysia’s O&G industry.
“The industry is a strong driver of the national economy and Sabah’s revenue is considerably derived from oil and gas,” he said.
He added the federal government was also been keen on the need for Sabah’s O&G industry to further diversify its product range, and leverage the state’s strategic location to attract more oil and gas companies, investors and traders.
Sabah’s location at the South China Sea and its major role in the domestic O&G industry are factors that assure this industry continues to be a significant contributor to the state’s economic growth, Mohd Shafie said. — Bernama