The growth of Malaysia’s oil and gas industry is sparking new confidence in foreign investors while spurring on global technology partnerships.
The country is one of the top LNG producers in the world and the second largest Southeast Asian producer of oil and gas, helping contribute significantly to its GDP, which overall, saw a growth of 6.4 percent in Q2 2014.
Malaysia’s goal is to be a top oil and gas hub in the Asia Pacific region by 2017, and on an annual basis to 2020, the country aims to increase overall production capacity by five percent to meet both domestic and export demands. Shell Oil, Exxon Mobil and Murphy Oil are among the leading foreign investor/producing companies.
Additionally, since 2011, the Malaysian Government has been inviting petroleum and petroleum-trading companies to set up their storage and trading operations in Malaysia through the Global Incentives For Trading (GIFT) initiative.
Although Malaysia’s domestic oil production is expected to decrease marginally (1-2 percent by 2020), Petronas, the government-owned oil and gas conglomerate, has entered into several Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) projects with a number of other oil and gas companies under Production Sharing Contracts. EOR or tertiary recovery, is typically used as a third-stage well development in which steam or gas is used to enable further extraction, which will bolster the country’s ageing fields.
However, new oil discoveries are still being made. Earlier this year, Shell announced the discoveries of gas in the Marjoram-1 well and the Rosmari-1 well, both located in Block SK318, offshore Malaysia. And late last year, Petronas found gas at the Sintok-1 well, Block SK320, off the Malaysian state of Sarawak.
In addition, Petronas new floating liquefied natural gas facility is under construction, set to be delivered in the first quarter of 2015. It will be the first of its kind in the world and will be positioned at the Kanowit gas field, approximately 180 kilometres from Sarawak, where its expected to produce 1.2 million tonnes of LNG annually.
On the subsea support front, Douglas-Westwood analysts forecast global subsea hardware expenditures for 2014-2018 will be $117Bn, with 49 percent in subsea production hardware; subsea umbilicals, riser and flowlines (SURF) at 36 percent, and trunk pipelines at 15 percent.
This is good news for global subsea technology companies such as PortVision’s parent company, Oceaneering International. Recently, Scottish organizations have voiced their intention to strengthen their association with Malaysia’s oil and gas players. Many of these companies have a wealth of knowledge in the North Sea offshore industry and offer in-depth experience with ROVs, laying subsea cables, mapping the seabed and more.
In addition, the 2013-launched Innovation Centre for Sensor & Imaging Systems (CENSIS) based in Glasgow, is a multi-university technology partnership that has applications across several industries, including oil and gas. Sensing and imaging technologies can be applied to deepwater processing initiatives as this method becomes more prevalent, and they can also be applied to the need for autonomous operation of production platforms.
As well, contributing to Malaysia’s oil and gas sector workforce is another incentive for experienced firms like those from Scotland since it has been estimated that 16,000 trained workers will be needed by 2020. In fact, the Heriot-Watt Malaysian campus, located in Putrajaya, Malaysia (an extension of the prestigious Edinburgh-based Heriot-Watt University), has been established so that students can obtain undergraduate and graduate degrees in such fields as petroleum and mechanical engineering. And Aberdeen Drilling International, based in Kuala Lumpur, recently opened its Malaysian training center, which offers several courses, including well intervention pressure control and stuck pipe prevention.
Nearly 1,530 miles of natural gas pipelines run throughout Malaysia. For example, on Peninsular Malaysia (West Malaysia), up to two billion cubic feet of natural gas flows every day through the 880-mile Peninsular Gas Utilization network. Offshore gas flows through a number of purpose-built facilities, including the Bintulu LNG complex located on Sarawak, a key LNG production centre that’s also acclaimed as one of the world’s largest.
Alongside ongoing deepwater exploration, oil and gas infrastructure projects continue throughout Malaysia to further expand the country’s capabilities in the hopes that it will reach its goal in 2017 of becoming a major player, both in the Asia-Pacific region and on the global stage.AIS-based vessel tracking plays an increasingly valuable role in the management, logistics, and compliance associated with floating facilities, increased ship traffic, and increased commodity flow into and out of Malaysia and other key regions around the world. PortVision provides tools, technology, and services to the maritime and energy sectors to incorporate real-time and historical ship tracking into effective government and corporate systems for managing this change.