Malaysia Petronas Launches Offshore Bid Round


Malaysian oil company Petronas launched the Malaysia Bid Round (MBR) 2021, through a virtual event held on February 26 2021.

"With 13 exploration blocks being offered, the MBR 2021 is set to open up more investment opportunities for investors to explore and monetize hydrocarbon resource potentials in Malaysia," Petronas said.

Out of the 13 blocks, three are situated in the Malay basin (PM340, PM327 and PM342), four in the Sabah basin (SB409, SB412, 2W and X) and the remaining six are located in Sarawak basin (ND3A, SK4E, SK328, SK427, SK439 and SK440). Included in blocks PM342, SK4E, SK328 and SB409 are six discovered fields as a base for investors to explore more, and help accelerate monetization. 

MBR 2021 also features the offering of four deepwater blocks (ND3A, 4E, 2W and X) off the coast of Sarawak and Sabah which saw prominent exploration discoveries in recent years, Petronas added.

MBR is an annual Malaysia licensing round organized by Petronas which offers exploration blocks and undeveloped, discovered resources, as well as late-life assets and technical study opportunities.

"Whilst MBR this year focuses on exploration blocks, the opportunities around late-life assets and undeveloped smaller discovered fields will be made available in the second half of this year," Petronas said.

Also, for this year’s bid round, Petronas has introduced three new Production Sharing Contract (PSC) terms.

The first is the Enhanced Profitability PSC Terms (EPT) which will be applied to nine shallow-water blocks, out of the 13 blocks offered. The EPT terms are formulated based on the feedback received from industry players to provide more attractive returns under current market conditions, Petronas said.

The new Small Field Assets (SFA) and Late Life Assets (LLA) PSC Terms introduced recently were also developed based on market feedback to provide opportunities for industry players with niche capability to extract greater value from discovered resources and LLAs, the company added.

Furthermore, Petronas said it has incorporated several non-fiscal enhancements for the exploration blocks being offered such as larger block size, flexible bidding options e.g. the option to merge two adjacent blocks under one PSC, transferable minimum work commitments between two adjacent PSCs, and phased exploration period.

At the same time, PETRONAS is offering three large areas for study arrangement. First is the area to the south of the Malay Basin in Peninsular Malaysia with Pre-Tertiary and basement emerging plays yet to be explored. The second and third areas cover the deepwater of north of Luconia that extends northeasterly to Sabah which could have extension of proven plays, the Malaysian oil firm said.

Petronas Senior Vice President of Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM), Mohamed Firouz Asnan said: “As an industry, we need to continue with exploration activities to seize the immense opportunities that the energy transition presents. If we don’t, we would then position ourselves out of the new energy equation.

“While exploration & production opportunities may appear everywhere around the world, I believe you will find ‘advantaged barrels’ here in Malaysia in diverse forms and when you seize the right opportunities that complement your portfolio, you will not only balance but also strengthen your portfolio. We hope to see new investors this year, including existing players to further grow their portfolio in Malaysia,” he added.

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