Upland Resources Limited (LSE: UPL), the oil and gas company actively building a portfolio of attractive upstream assets, is pleased to provide an update on its activities in Sarawak.
Update on Upland operations in Sarawak, Malaysia and its joint venture partners
Upland has recently held meetings with the Board of Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (“Petros”), Brooke Dockyard and Engineering Works Corporation (“Brooke”) and other relevant entities, in Kuching, Sarawak. The Company also attended a conference held in Kuching on 16th May 2018 where the Chief Minister, the State Legal Counsel and Petros laid out the plans for the Sarawakian oil & gas industry to a large audience of industry professionals and the press. Upland were able to discuss matters with the Chief Minister of Sarawak following the conference.
Plans for greater independence for Sarawak in upstream oil & gas were confirmed to be unchanged after the national election, the result having had little impact on this process. This push for more independence in this industry is clearly popular with the people of Sarawak and enjoys broad cross-party support.
Petros is moving quickly to take on active roles as the effective Sarawakian state oil company, as the issuer of permits to explore for, to appraise and develop hydrocarbon resources and as regulator. The State legislature will bring into effect the existing Oil Mining Ordinance on 1st July this year; under this, existing and new licence holders must apply to Petros for new ones.
Preference for award of new permits and for contractors will be given to Sarawakian companies and to those companies partnered with Sarawakian companies, whilst not jeopardising the interests of those companies already operating in Sarawak, which the Company believes is beneficial to the structure of its agreements and relationships in Sarawak.
Steve Staley, CEO of Upland Resources Limited, said:
“During our visit to Kuching, we were pleased to see how the future is now unfolding in Sarawak. The recent national election result does not appear to have affected Sarawak’s ambitions for their oil & gas industry and Petros is clearly moving forward with its plans at a faster pace than we expected. Upland remains in a very good position and I look forward to updating the market further as the situation progresses.”
The government of the State of Sarawak, in the Federation of Malaysia, recently constituted Petros as a government-owned entity to increase Sarawak’s involvement in its own oil & gas industry.
On 13th April 2018, Upland signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with Brooke to jointly assess, explore for and develop hydrocarbon assets within the State of Sarawak. Brooke, founded in Kuching in 1912, is the only Sarawakian government-owned entity involved in upstream oil & gas, other than Petros.
In Malaysian national elections held on 9th May 2018, Dr Mahathir Mohamad was elected as Prime Minister, his Pakatan Harapan coalition ending over 60 years of rule by the Barisan Nasional Party. At the same time, the States that make up the federation of Malaysia also held elections for their state legislatures – except Sarawak, which is unique in always holding theirs at a time of their own choosing and which will be in about two years’ time.
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