KOTA KINABALU - Petronas has begun piping natural gas into the RM3.8 billion (S$1.46 billion) Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal (SOGT) in Kimanis, marking an important milestone in the industry.
With an initial flow of 65 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) from the Kinabalu Non-Associated Gas field southwest of the state via a 120km underwater pipeline since Monday, it was part of the commissioning process for the terminal.
The commissioning process will put to test and ensure the systems and components at the terminal are running according to specifications and requirements before it starts commercial operations.
Once fully operational, the SOGT, located 65km from here, will have the capacity of 260,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil and 1,250 mmscfd of natural gas, said a statement from Petronas Sabah and Labuan Regional office.
It is the biggest integrated terminal in the country with the ability to receive, handle and export oil and gas produced offshore.
It will position the state as an onshore oil and gas hub in the region, complementing the operations of the existing Sabah Gas Terminal, the Labuan Crude Oil Terminal and the Labuan Gas Terminal.
Sabah branch Malaysian Malay Chamber of Commerce chairman Datuk Ag Buhtamam Ag Mahmun yesterday said the move was a positive development for the country.
"The SOGT and other key oil and gas projects in the state are part of the national agenda to bring more progress.
"To see it up and running to fulfil its potential surely makes the business community excited as it is bound to trigger economic spillovers."
Buhtamam said, however, Petronas needed to play its part in ensuring active participation of local entrepreneurs, especially Bumiputeras, and make it part of their key performance indicators.
"The prime minister has called on government-linked companies to assist in the national Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Agenda policy and this is where Petronas can play its role."
Buhtamam said Petronas could start by identifying vendor development programmes (VDP) for local companies in Sabah and look into developing more human resources in the industry to support the oil and gas industry.
Petronas embarked on a host of projects in the state over the last three years such as the SOGT, the 512km Sabah-Sarawak Gas Pipeline, Kimanis Powerplant, Kinabalu NAG upstream development, Sabah Ammonia and Urea Plant in Sipitang and Kimanis Power Plant.