Press Release

2 · Jun · 2017
PETRONAS Starts 2017 with Solid Q1 Performance
Media Releases
KUALA LUMPUR, 2 June 2017 – PETRONAS ended the first quarter of 2017 with marked improvements, recording an increase in profit after tax (PAT) of more than 100 per cent from the corresponding period last year.
This was primarily driven by higher oil prices and improved margins from Upstream and Downstream businesses in tandem with PETRONAS’ on-going transformation efforts that have resulted in heightened cost-optimisation and efficiency improvements across the Group’s value chain.
PAT for the quarter ended 31 March 2017 registered at RM10.3 billion compared to RM4.6 billion in the same period last year. The increase was mainly contributed by higher revenue for the quarter which benefitted from higher average realised prices and lower net impairment on assets, partially offset by higher taxation, amortisation of oil and gas properties and product costs.
Revenue grew by 25 per cent to RM61.6 billion from RM49.1 billion recorded in the same quarter of 2016. The increase was due to higher average realised prices recorded across all products, exchange rate impact and higher processed gas sales volume. This was partially offset by lower crude oil & condensate and petroleum product sales volume.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by RM9.0 billion or 58 per cent to RM24.6 billion compared to RM15.6 billion in the corresponding quarter last year.
The Group’s cash flows from operations also grew by 86 per cent compared to the corresponding quarter last year to RM18.0 billion, as a result of higher average realised prices.
Meanwhile, internal efforts to reduce cost and improve efficiency continued to allow PETRONAS to reduce controllable operating expenditure (OPEX) from RM11.4 billion to RM11.1 billion.
Total assets decreased to RM602.1 billion as at 31 March 2017 from RM603.3 billion recorded as at 31 December 2016 as a result of a stronger ringgit against the US Dollar. Meanwhile shareholders’ equity increased to RM386.9 billion as at 31 March 2017 from RM380.3 billion as at 31 December 2016, contributed by profit generated during the period.
Gearing ratio decreased to 17.1 per cent as at 31 March 2017 compared to 17.4 per cent as at 31 December 2016. This was primarily impacted by higher equity following profit generated during the period. ROACE increased to 6.6 per cent compared to 5.3 per cent recorded at 31 December 2016 in line with the Group’s higher profits.
Capital investments in the first quarter of 2017 totaled RM11.9 billion, mainly attributable to the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project in Johor.
The Group continues to maintain a conservative outlook for the remainder of 2017 despite the positive results as supply and demand balances are still slow to return to a sustained equilibrium.
PETRONAS will focus on its group-wide efforts to optimise costs, further improve efficiency and operational excellence through strategic collaborations within the industry.
Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, President and Group CEO PETRONAS
“Our strong performance in the first quarter of this year was driven largely by our transformation initiatives which continue to gain traction. This has strengthened internal collaborations across our upstream and downstream businesses, resulting in improved plant utilisation rates, production and the overall creation of substantial value. We will continue to focus on driving our upstream and downstream businesses to maximize returns in unlocking value as a fully integrated oil and gas company.”
Issued by
Media Relations Department
Group Strategic Communications
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Operational Highlights
  • PETRONAS’ Upstream business continued to focus on delivering value across the oil and gas value chain, with emphasis on cash generation, strengthening fundamentals and managing costs. Among notable achievements was the projected cost reduction by 12 per cent obtained through commercial negotiations and greater focus in reservoir, wells and facility management.
  • Total production volume for the quarter was 2.4 million boe per day compared to 2.5 million boe per day in the corresponding quarter last year mainly due to lower production in Iraq, lower demand in Turkmenistan and declining production in JDA and Egypt.
  • Meanwhile intensified efforts in cash generation activities resulted in cash recovery of RM108 million and optimisation of LNG molecules worth RM184 million through better alignment of shutdown activities and various value improvement programmes.
  • PETRONAS LNG Complex (PLC)’s overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) for the period was 96.2 per cent while total LNG sales volume for the quarter was marginally higher by 0.15 million tonnes as compared to the corresponding quarter in 2016 mainly attributable to higher volume from Gladstone LNG (GLNG) and Train 9 in Bintulu.
  • Among significant achievements in Upstream for the first quarter was the successful commissioning of Terengganu GAS Terminal (TGAST) four months ahead of schedule. The state-of-the-art facility which is equipped with PETRONAS’ owned carbon dioxide (CO2) removal is expected to boost the development of Malaysia’s offshore gas fields with high CO2 content.
  • For the first quarter of 2017, downstream business has sustained its performance demonstrated in 2016. Better performance was attributable to solid plant operations, particularly in petrochemicals, and overall improvements of average realised prices for crude oil, petroleum and petrochemical products.
  • Petroleum products and crude oil sales volume were recorded at 63 million barrels and 35 million barrels respectively.
  • Petrochemical plants recorded the best ever first quarter plant utilisation rate at 99.2 per cent compared to 92.2 per cent recorded in the corresponding period last year. Higher plant production contributed to 0.3 million metric tonnes increase in petrochemical products sales volume to 2.0 million metrics tonnes.
  • Overall downstream OEE was recorded at 94.4 per cent, with the refineries in Kertih, Terengganu and Durban, South Africa reaching 100 per cent. Overall downstream plant reliability and utilisation were recorded at 98.4 per cent and 86.2 per cent respectively.
  • Downstream projects continued to progress well with the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) project achieving 63 per cent completion at 31 March 2017 while the Sabah Ammonia Urea (SAMUR) plant has reached full design capacity.
  • At the same time, the commissioning process of the Integrated Aroma Ingredients Complex is progressing well to meet the range of 2017 start-up schedule while Highly Reactive Polyisobutene is expected to be commissioned in Q4 2017 as planned.