KUALA LUMPUR,. Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is challenging the Sarawak government’s move to become the main regulator of the state’s oil and gas industry from July 1 this year.
The national oil company today filed an application in the Federal Court seeking a declaration on the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) as the law applicable for the industry.
It said in a press statement the court application also sought to declare that Petronas is the “exclusive owner of petroleum resources as well as the regulator” for the upstream industry throughout the country, including in Sarawak.
“Petronas believes the determination by the Federal Court would help provide clarity on its rights and position under the PDA.
“Petronas remains committed to support Sarawak’s aspiration to participate in the oil and gas industry in the state, for as long as it is within the framework of the PDA,” it said.
The Sarawak government has made it mandatory for all oil and gas industry players operating in the state to be licensed under its Oil Mining Ordinance and Gas Distribution Ordinance from July 1.
In March, the state launched Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) as its oil and gas regulatory and supervisory authority.
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg had said the PDA was not relevant in the state as it had not been endorsed by the state legislative assembly.
The Sarawak government has been actively pursuing the restoration of the state’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963, including in the devolution of power from the Federal government.