Sapura Energy is Austria-based OMV’s partner in Asia-Pacific

SINGAPORE: Malaysia-based oil and gas (O&G) services provider Sapura Energy Bhd is Austria-listed industrial company OMV Aktiengesellschaft’s partner of choice.

OMV is a relatively new player in the Asia-Pacific region.

“We were screening companies and assets in the region and Sapura was top-ranked. We want to grow our business with Sapura,” the company’s deputy CEO Johann Pleininger told Bernama recently.

He recalled the selection of Sapura Energy as the company’s new partner in the region. This eventually led to the establishment of SapuraOMV Upstream Sdn Bhd in November last year to focus on Asia-Pacific and Mexico.

Recently, OMV won “The Asia Pacific Company of the Year (Upstream)” and Sapura “The Asia Pacific Company of the Year (Energy Services, Offshore and Marine)” awards.

OMV deputy CEO Johann Pleininger.

Pleininger was present at the Asia-Pacific Energy Award Dinner, organised by the Energy Council.

According to him, Sapura Energy group’s production is expected to double or triple over the next five years through the strategic partnership.

“Sapura is right now producing about 10,000 barrels per day. We want to achieve 30,000 barrels by the end of 2020 and around 60,000 to 70,000 by 2023,” he said.

Pleininger, who is also on OMV’s executive board, Upstream, described the partnership with Sapura Energy as a good idea.

He expressed OMV’s full commitment to Malaysia and the Asia-Pacific region by looking at opportunities to increase business substantially.

“It (Sapura Energy) is a long-term partner.”

Although OMV has been described as the “new kid on the block” in the region, it is currently the biggest oil and gas company in New Zealand.

It has also proven its capability by undertaking drastic cost-cutting measures over the last two to three years that saw its production cost fall from US$16.6 per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) to below US$7.

“I think we are reaching the level we want to be now,” said Pleininger.

Commenting on the ability to run at a low cost to produce energy, Sapura Energy’s president and group CEO Shahril Shamsuddin said: “It is an industry-wide effort to be agile, adept and to evolve from a very difficult time four years ago to a much better position now.”

He said the industry’s ability to achieve a lower cost base through more effective execution was testimony “to how we work together to achieve this goal”.

Asked about the outlook of the O&G industry this year, Shahril sees things improving as stability comes in, with lots of activities and many good things happening.

As for Sapura Energy’s recent successful exercise to raise some RM4 billion via a rights issue, he said the company was now in a very good position to take advantage of the increased activities in the O&G industry.

Upon completion of the rights issue and joint venture with OMV, Sapura Energy’s gearing ratio will be reduced from 1.74 times to 0.62 times, which Shahril described as a good level for the number of activities the company has.

On Sapura Energy winning the Asia Pacific Company of the Year award, he paid tribute to Petronas, as the latter’s vendor development programme had enabled the company to build competencies to be a global player.

From a diving contractor to a fully-fledged upstream player, Sapura Energy now has a multinational workforce of about 9,000 and spectrum of capabilities covering engineering, construction and drilling (services segment), as well as exploration and production in more than 20 countries.

The services segment order book has grown to RM19.3 billion to date, the highest in the last two years, after having secured multiple contracts across the globe, including in Malaysia, Australia, India, Mexico, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.