Overview of Exploration in Malaysia


Over the past 45 years of exploration history in Malaysia, MPM have witnessed more than 1,200 exploration wells drilled, which is derived from the discovery of around seven billion barrels of oil and 75 trillion cubic feet of gas in commercial discoveries. With an extensive pipeline network, Malaysia was able to produce approximately 13 billion barrels of oil equivalent from the discoveries and Malaysia's prolific basins continue to offer various play types that have yet to be fully tested.


Malaysia Basin


There are seven prolific basins in Malaysia with three of them currently producing hydrocarbons namely the Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak basins.

Significant discoveries of oil and gas continue to be made from these main basins, including the recent world-class discovery of Lang Lebah located in Central Luconia province with approximately five trillion cubic feet of gas in place. This is a testament of how prolific Malaysia’s basins are, with potentially more discoveries to come.

Malaysia’s Exploration Blocks


PETRONAS offers open blocks to interested investors on an annual basis that could potentially lead to more oil and gas discoveries. Currently, there are a total of 76 exploration blocks out of which 16 blocks are available for future bidding and direct negotiation.

Non-Seismic Data: Full Tensor Gradiometry (FTG)


  • On the exploration front, the datasets continue to be enriched with extensive FTG data acquisition.
  • FTG provides a unique 3D perspective, immediately improving the exploration workflow.
  • Currently, the extensive data coverage of 730,000 line-km and 230,000 sq km of 2D and 3D seismic data have been collected to date. This is about a quarter of Malaysia’s total land size.
  • This Multi-Client FTG is being merged with the existing proprietary data, where investors will have an integrated database.
  • This data provides better insight into the exciting deep geology of the area to potential investors.



FTG proprietary : Acquired by the PAC in the Under Explore Area.



FTG Multi-Client: New perspective via blanket Multi-Client FTG data set.




Seismic Data: 2D and 3D Multi-Client


Unfolding new plays in existing and new areas via extensive and seamless seismic data throughout the regions:


  • The introduction of Multi-Client seismic data has further assisted frontier exploration by providing a broader and extensive geological boundary.
  • As a pioneer in the Multi-Client seismic acquisition, 50% of the Northwest Sabah Basin is currently covered in the Multi-Client data, and investors are welcome to prefund.
  • The 3D seismic Multi-Client programme commenced recently to seize a bigger opportunity in Sarawak, and investors are invited to prefund the programme.
  • Peninsular Malaysia’s data mega-merge and new infill seismic data will provide seamless interpretation across various vintage data sets.
  • The 2D seismic span acquired by PETRONAS, showcases the potential of Malaysia’s Basins' via a regional and deep Multi-Client data set.


Seismic Data: Proprietary 2D and 3D



  • In addition to Multi-Client, proprietary data was acquired by partners as part of their respective exploration programme.
  • Since 1967, the acreages have been extensively covered with various 2D and 3D vintage seismic data.
    • Approximately 730,000 line-km of 2D seismic data.
    • Over 227,000 sq km of 3D seismic data was acquired by various parties.
  • All these data was made available to investors to evaluate the opportunities offered and facilitate a timely decision.

Exploration Wells



MPM continues to unlock new and interesting exploration areas with promising outcomes. Since 1974, there have been more than 2,000 wells drilled in Malaysia with active penetration at all stratigraphic levels.

Sarawak Deepwater Atlas


With the extensive data coverage supported by myPROdata, the outlook of Malaysia's exploration sector remains appealing. 


By using the integrated data available to de-risk the exploration acreages through the Sarawak Deepwater Atlas, MPM has successfully established the following:


  • Play Fairway
  • Source rock presence, distribution and quality
  • Seal efficiency
  • Lead ranking

Rock Physics Atlas


  • The Rock Physics Atlas (2019) study provides an interactive rock property database for Malaysia’s basins. The database was calibrated using 100 selected wells across Sabah and Sarawak. 
  • The Rock Physics Atlas was initiated by PETRONAS MPM to evaluate the rock physics of selected wells within the Sabah and Sarawak region that can help in predicting porosity and discern pore fluids and lithofacies based on the elastic rock properties response.
  • This study allows the interpreters to perform robust Geophysical and Geological (G&G) evaluation and analysis, particularly in identifying new potential prospects and leads.

Study Arrangement


PETRONAS is providing data from three large areas for the purpose of a study arrangement (“Study Arrangement”). These areas are to the south of the Malay Basin in Peninsular Malaysia where Pre-Tertiary and basement emerging plays are yet to be tapped and the deep water of Sabah and Sarawak where the shallow water proven plays can potentially be extended into. Some of the blocks located within these study areas may be offered for bidding in Malaysia Bid Round 2022 (MBR 2022).


Interested companies can obtain these data sets from myPROdata.


Key Dates


From 15 April to 15 June 2021

Expression of Interest submission, signing of Study Agreement & transfer of data

  • Expression of Interest (EOI) on the area(s) for study. Irrespective of the execution date of the study agreement, the end date of the study will be on 31 May 2022.
  • Signing of the Study Agreement.
  • Transfer of data to the Company after the Study Agreement has been signed.

31 May 2022

Technical Evaluation

Report Submission

  • Company must submit the report(s) before 5pm (Malaysia time UTC+8) on Tuesday 31 May 2022.



Companies may refer to the Study Guideline here:

Study Guide

Or contact us at bpm.mpm@petronas.com for further information



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