Oil tax dispute with Petronas to be settled soon, says Sarawak CM

(Bernama pic)

SIBU: Chief Minister Abang Johari Tun Openg expects a settlement in a few months of a dispute between Sarawak and Petronas over a 5% export duty levied by the state on oil and gas extracted from the country’s territorial waters.

He said only Petronas had yet to pay the taxes, while Shell and Murphy Oil and another sub-contractor company had done so.

He said the Sarawak government remained firm on its right to collect oil and gas taxes in the negotiations between the state and the federal government.

“In the next several months, we will settle the oil and gas rights. What is the right of Sarawak is our right. Respect the rights of the children of Sarawak so that Sarawak can develop,” he said in answer to a question at a town hall session at the Sibu Islamic Complex hall today.

Abang Johari said the state had the right to levy oil and gas taxes, in accordance with the Federal Constitution, but this right had been disputed by Petronas.

He said he estimated the value of oil and gas extracted from Sarawak’s waters from 1976 to 2018 to be RM660 billion, but only RM33 billion had been paid to Sarawak.

On another matter, he said Sarawak was continuing a project to build the world’s longest artificial reef, from Tanjung Datu to Lawas, a distance of 1,000km, at a cost of RM70 million.