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PETRONAS Posts Commendable First Quarter 2021 Results

2021 Media Release - 31 May

KUALA LUMPUR, 31 May 2021 – PETRONAS reported a commendable overall performance for the first quarter of 2021, recording an increase in Profit After Tax (PAT) from the corresponding period last year.

The results were attributed to the recovery in commodity prices since the initial aftermath of COVID-19, coupled with lower overall Group costs recorded. 

Q1 FY2021 Results
(Analysis against Q1 FY2020)

For the first quarter that ended 31 March 2021, the Group recorded an improved PAT of RM9.3 billion from RM4.5 billion in the corresponding period last year. The higher PAT recorded is in line with lower overall Group Costs incurred partially offset by lower revenue.

The lower revenue of RM52.5 billion, decreased by 12 per cent from RM59.6 billion in the corresponding period last year, continued to be attributable to the lower sales volume of petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and natural gas, coupled with the effect of the stronger Ringgit against the US Dollar exchange rate. 

However, Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 13 per cent to RM22.9 billion from RM20.3 billion in the corresponding period last year.

Cash Flows from Operating Activities (CFFO) stood at RM14.3 billion, a decrease of 19 per cent from RM17.6 billion mainly due to higher inventory as well as lower receipts from customers.

Total assets increased to RM593.8 billion as at 31 March 2021 as compared to RM574.1 billion as at 31 December 2020 mainly contributed by higher cash and cash equivalents as well as higher receivables.

The Group’s capital investments (CAPEX) amounted to RM6.7 billion, mainly attributed to Upstream projects.

Q1 FY2021 results also demonstrated a recovery from the Loss After Tax (LAT) of RM1.1 billion posted in Q4 FY2020.

Tengku Muhammad Taufik, President and Group CEO PETRONAS

“PETRONAS’ financial performance in the first quarter of 2021 reflects our continuing commitment to commercial and operational excellence while preserving a healthy level of liquidity to strengthen our resiliency.

“The deliberate steps taken throughout 2020 have provided the Group with a stronger foundation to better withstand volatile market conditions while we contend with the global energy transition. Even as PETRONAS navigates the significant challenges and uncertainties posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it will continue to intensify efforts to achieve its Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 aspiration. In doing so, PETRONAS remains committed to executing its three-pronged growth strategy to become a progressive energy and solutions partner enriching lives for a sustainable future.”


Oil and gas industry demand is expected to improve following the global vaccine roll-out programme, but recovery prospects remain uncertain due to risk of COVID-19 resurgence.

PETRONAS will continue to drive for commercial and operational excellence on the back of modest oil price recovery whilst preserving healthy levels of liquidity.

Operational Highlights


  • Total daily production average of 2,386 thousand barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day is lower than the 2,464 thousand boe per day recorded in the first quarter of 2020, mainly driven by lower liquid production caused by operational challenges in Malaysia and lower production in Iraq. However, this was partially offset by higher gas production in Peninsular Malaysia and production ramp up abroad.
  • Upstream successfully achieved the following in the first quarter of 2021:
    • Four projects in Malaysia – two brownfields and two greenfields – achieved first hydrocarbon. This included first gas production from the Rotan and Buluh fields in Block H, off the coast of Sabah, offshore Malaysia. The gas was received by PETRONAS’ second Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (PFLNG DUA) facility for the LNG export market.
    • Three projects achieved final investment decision (FID) – two are in Malaysia and one in Indonesia.
    • Three exploration discoveries – The Hidayah-1 well located offshore East Java, Indonesia as well as the Dokong-1 well in Baram Province and the Sirung-1 well in Balingian Province, both located off the coast of Sarawak, offshore Malaysia. 
  • PETRONAS Canada successfully delivered its first sales gas from its flagship Town North gas plant, British Columbia in January 2021 ahead of schedule. The plant is scheduled to deliver a processing capacity of 555 million standard cubic feet per day when the third phase is completed, tentatively scheduled for 2025.
  • In February 2021, PETRONAS signed a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with ConocoPhillips East Malaysia Limited, a subsidiary of ConocoPhillips and PETRONAS Carigali Sdn. Bhd. for Block SB405 off the coast of Sabah, offshore Malaysia. The award and subsequent signing of this PSC is expected to bolster exploration activities off the coast of Sabah following the opening of more block investment opportunities in the country.
  • Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM), which manages Malaysia’s hydrocarbon resources on behalf of resource owner PETRONAS, launched the Malaysia Bid Round (MBR) 2021 to potential investors on 26 February offering 13 new attractive offshore exploration blocks located within the country’s proven hydrocarbon basins. For this year’s bid round, PETRONAS introduced three new types of PSCs with corresponding terms to sustain the attractiveness of the blocks on offer. Key highlights this quarter from blocks awarded in past MBR series are the gas discoveries in February 2021 from the Dokong-1 well in Block SK417 PSC as well as an oil and gas discovery in March 2021 from the Sirung-1 well in Block SK405B PSC, all located off the coast of Sarawak, offshore Malaysia. 
  • PETRONAS achieved significant progress in implementing Software as a Service (SaaS) in the Open Subsurface Data Universe (OSDU) Exploration & Production (E&P) data platform on Cloud. This would, among other benefits, allow integrated user access to E&P data on a single platform, saving time and cost. 
  • Deployed Phase 1 of PETRONAS Integrated Pipeline Integrity Assurance Solutions (i-PIMS) in Malaysia's upstream assets which acts as a one-stop integrated digital pipeline integrity management solution. i-PIMS is expected to improve pipeline inspection processes and integrity management efficiencies by more than 60 per cent.
  •  In line with PETRONAS’ aspiration to achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions (NZCE) by 2050, Upstream recorded a 26 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year mainly driven by emissions reduction efforts from hydrocarbon flaring and venting. 

Gas & New Energy

  • PETRONAS continues to display operational resilience as a reliable producer and supplier of natural gas in the first quarter of 2021. In the LNG space, PETRONAS has delivered a total of 11,672 LNG cargoes from PETRONAS LNG Complex (PLC) in Bintulu, since the first cargo was delivered in 1983. As for domestic piped gas, PETRONAS has secured the renewal of 580 MMscfd of natural gas supply deals to domestic customers which will be transported via the Peninsular Gas Utilisation (PGU) transmission grid, spanning over 2,623 km across Peninsular Malaysia.
  • PETRONAS’ latest LNG solutions that provide a reliable supply to off-grid and marine industry customers continued to gain traction in the first quarter of 2021. A total of 51 Virtual Pipeline System deliveries were completed in Peninsular Malaysia and seven LNG Bunkering deliveries in the Straits of Malacca. PETRONAS was also a key partner in Malaysia’s first export of LNG via ISO tanks, with LNG molecules from PETRONAS LNG Complex filling 205 ISO Tanks that were delivered to China. 
  • PFLNG DUA facility delivered its maiden LNG cargo in March 2021, one month after achieving its first LNG drop. PETRONAS’ first FLNG facility, PFLNG SATU, delivered four LNG cargoes in the first quarter of 2021, growing its total LNG cargoes delivered to date to 42 since the start of production in 2017. 
  • PETRONAS New Energy continued to grow its domestic and international solar capacity. In Malaysia, PETRONAS New Energy has more than 104MW of solar capacity in operation and under development. Internationally, PETRONAS New Energy’s wholly owned distributed energy company, Amplus Energy Solutions (Amplus), has over 910MW of solar capacity in operation and under development in India.


  • Downstream business delivered a solid operational performance, with gradual improvements seen in the market towards the end of 2020. Overall equipment effectiveness recorded sustained performance of 92.5 per cent across all business segments, backed by strong asset reliability across the value chain. 
  • PETRONAS Chemicals Group Berhad (PCG) sustained its operational performance and recorded plant utilisation rate of above 90 per cent, producing 2.5 million metric tonnes of petrochemical products. The global market indicated positive product prices, contributed by gradual improvement in demand mainly from Asia’s emerging markets.
  • The marketing segment recorded an overall sales volume of five billion litres, with PETRONAS Lubricants International (PLI) recording an improved sale of 14 per cent due to higher demand from China and Asia Pacific. For the domestic market, PETRONAS Dagangan Berhad (PDB) recorded a gradual improvement quarter-on-quarter, with overall volume remaining under pressure due to re-implementation of the Movement Control Order in high-volume states. 
  • Downstream will continue to reshape its portfolio mix to ensure high value returns for long-term solutions and sustainability, including new prospects within the non-fuel business and specialty chemicals. Earlier this year, PDB launched Segar@Mesra, a farmer-to-consumer concept that supports local farmers’ livelihoods, whilst ensuring consumers have easy access to affordable fresh produce.
  • In supporting PETRONAS’ sustainability effort to achieve NZCE by 2050, PLI subsidiary, Arexons, a car care and multipurpose lubricant plant in Cernusco, Italy, is a Zero Scope 2 GHG emission operation. This journey started in 2009 with gradual installation of solar PV, which is now at 630 MWp or 30 per cent electricity use of the plant. The remaining electricity purchased has been from renewable sources since 2018.

Issued by
Media Engagement Department
Group Strategic Communications

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