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Malaysia Doubles Exploration Success in 2022 with 10 Discoveries

2022 Media Release - 22 Dec

KUALA LUMPUR, 22 December 2022 – PETRONAS and its Petroleum Arrangement Contractors (PACs) recorded a total of 10 hydrocarbon discoveries in Malaysia in 2022, following the increase of exploration activities in the country.

Eight oil and gas discoveries were made off the coast of Sarawak, and one each off the coast of Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia. The largest oil discovery was made by PETRONAS Carigali at the Nahara-1 well in Block SK306 within Sarawak’s Balingian province.

Discoveries were also made in Sarawak’s Central Luconia, Western Luconia and Baram provinces, which are among Malaysia’s most prolific basins and home to many gas fields in the country.

10 exploration discoveries in Malaysia for the year 2022

Within Central Luconia, Shell had discoveries at the Inai-1 and Temu-1 wells in MLNG Block, while Mubadala Energy found more gas in Block SK320 at the Cengkih-1 well. In the emerging province of Western Luconia, ConocoPhillips drilled three exploration wells in Block WL4-00 and discovered gas at the Gagau-1 well while the Salam-3 and Benum-2 wells confirmed the extension of oil and gas accumulations in adjacent fault blocks. In the matured Baram province, PTTEP made another gas discovery in Block SK410B through the Paprika-1 well, where the giant Lang Lebah was also discovered in 2019.

In ultra-deepwater Sabah, TotalEnergies made oil and gas discovery at the Tepat-2 well in Block N within the emerging Sabah Trough province, further proving the extent of the earlier oil and gas discovery of Tepat-1 in 2018.

Off the coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Hess found a new gas reservoir at the Bergading Deep-4 well in Block PM302 within the North Malay Basin.

PETRONAS Senior Vice President of Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM), Mohamed Firouz Asnan said, “The year 2022 has been a good year for exploration in Malaysia. I am very pleased with the increased exploration activities where 16 wells were completed, with two more in progress, doubling the 2021’s figure. Our 60 per cent success ratio validates the prolific nature of the Malaysian basins. Most of the discoveries can be quickly monetised at a lower cost given their proximity to the extensive network of existing infrastructure.”

PETRONAS Senior General Manager of Resource Exploration MPM, Azmir Zamri added, “Our vast multi-client dataset covering emerging and frontier areas will continue to be the key in accelerating the time to drilling. Enabled by MPM’s long-term rig sequencing plan, our PACs are gearing up to drill as many as 30 exploration wells next year. These are part of the efforts to continue increasing the country’s hydrocarbon resource base to meet the growing energy demand, not just domestically but globally.”

Apart from the exploration success, there was an increased uptake in the Malaysia Bid Round (MBR) 2022 where investors responded strongly to the call for greater exploration investments. The Production Sharing Contract (PSC) signings for the successful MBR 2022 bids are planned for February next year, followed by the launch of MBR 2023.

The MBR 2022 was launched on 27 January 2022, with 14 exploration blocks, six clusters of Discovered Resource Opportunities (DRO) and one cluster of Late Life Assets (LLA) offered in the bidding round.

PETRONAS, through MPM, grants petroleum licenses, manages petroleum arrangements and provides stewardship on upstream petroleum activities in Malaysia. For more information on investment opportunities in Malaysia, please visit https://www.petronas.com/mpm/.