KUALA LUMPUR: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is to enhance security at its critical facilities following the recent attacks on two major facilities run by Saudi Arabia’s state oil giant, Saudi Aramco.
Petronas president and group CEO Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said Petronas had been in discussions with the authorities and relevant stakeholders on the matter.
“Drone attack is an escalating risk. We have been in discussions with the authorities and the relevant stakeholders in regards to this matter.
“I think we are familiarising ourselves with the technology to protect these facilities,” he told reporters after announcing the group’s first-half financial performance ended June 30, 2019, here today.
Wan Zulkiflee said the joint venture with Saudi Aramco was progressing well and the Pengerang Integrated Complex is on track to achieving commercial operations in the fourth quarter of this year with overall progress of 99.7% as of June 30, 2019.
On the oil outlook, Wan Zulkiflee said the trade war had been suppressing demand and the International Energy Agency had revised downward its production outlook to one billion barrels per day in September from up to 1.5 billion barrels per day in January.
“That is already a 33% reduction in nine months. Whatever we do when planning, we want Petronas to have a very robust plan in the budget, which I believe is in the range of mid-US$50 per barrel next year,” he added.
Wan Zulkiflee said capital investments for the first half of 2019 was at RM15.7 billion, attributable to upstream projects.
Petronas has allocated slightly above RM50 billion of capital investments for 2019.
Wan Zulkiflee said in the past years it was usually in the second half of the year that it would catch up on the budget.
Earlier, Petronas announced that its net profit had increased by 8.0% to RM14.7 billion for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019, from RM13.6 billion a year ago.
This came on the back of the weakening ringgit against the US dollar, partially offset by higher production costs.
Revenue for the quarter was RM59.1 billion, a marginal decrease from RM59.2 billion, mainly due to lower average realised prices for petroleum products and liquified natural gas (LNG).
Lower revenue for the quarter was offset by higher sales volume for crude oil and condensates, as well as LNG, coupled with the effect of the weakening ringgit against the US dollar.
Capital expenditure during the second quarter of 2019 was RM7.5 billion, mainly attributable to upstream projects.
Meanwhile, for the first half of 2019, the national oil firm’s net profit rose 9.0% to RM28.9 billion from RM26.6 billion year-on-year, on the back of higher revenue.
However, the increase was offset by higher production cost.
Revenue for the period increased by RM3.9 billion to RM121.1 billion from RM117.2 billion mainly driven by higher sales volume for petroleum products and liquefied natural gas as well as the weakening of the ringgit against the US dollar.
The total production rate for the first half of 2019 was 2.418 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day, up from 2.383 million boe in the same period last year, mainly due to higher natural gas production from Malaysia, but partially offset by lower crude oil from Iraq.
Total LNG sales volume for the six months of 2019 was 5.0% higher at 15.23 million tonnes from the same period last year, mainly due to the higher volume from Petronas LNG Complex in Bintulu and higher trading activities.