Minimal impact from Petronas output cut

23 Dec 2016 / 05:40 H.

    KUALA LUMPUR: Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) move to lower its crude oil output by up to 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) next year, should not significantly affect its dividend contribution to the government, as the cut only represents less than 5% of Petronas’ current daily oil production, said the Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani.
    “Currently Petronas produces nearly 500,000 barrels (per day), that means it (the cut) is slightly less than 5% (of the total production), so the impact is unlikely significant,” he told reporters after delivering his speech at the LRT Ampang Line 20th anniversary celebration here yesterday.
    Previously the state-owned group said it will pay the government a dividend of RM13 billion next year, which is 18.75% lower than its RM16 billion dividend commitment this year. The RM16 billion dividend this year, represents a nearly 40% drop compared with the RM26 billion paid in 2015.
    The latest dividend commitments, however, are much lower than 2014, 2013 and 2012 levels of RM29 billion, RM27 billion and RM28 billion respectively, which is due to the prolonged oil price slump and oversupply in the global crude market.
    The price of Brent crude oil dipped to as low as US$27.88 (RM124.80) per barrel in January 2016, from a high of US$114.81 recorded in June 2014.
    Based on the current average Brent crude oil price of US$44.67, the output cut of 20,000 bpd will cost the country US$893,400 in foregone revenues for the state oil giant.  
    On Wednesday, the country’s sole crude oil producer said it will make a voluntary adjustment to Malaysia’s crude oil production starting from January 2017, which is in line with a recent agreement between Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and non-Opec producers to reduce global supply.
    Johari said the decline in global oil production, will help to slightly increase the world oil market prices. However, he said the rise will not be too drastic, as Opec members are only producing one-third of the global oil production.
    Opec members, which are led by Saudi Arabia, and non-Opec members signed a deal earlier this month to cut oil production by 1.8 million bpd from Jan 1, 2017, on the hope that global oil supply and demand will be balanced by mid-2017.
    Asked on the swift actions taken by the Singapore’s financial regulators to tackle money laundering related to the troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), Johari said he sees it as a “very good” move, noting Malaysia is going through the same process.
    “They have taken their actions, very good ... because we want to make sure that all banks that facilitate this will take action. And as far as Malaysia is concerned, we are going through the process,” he said.
    Earlier this month, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) fined two banks for breaches of anti-money laundering rules in relation to 1MDB fund flows, and stated that it is nearing completion of its probe and a final update will be made early next year.
    Earlier this year, MAS withdrew the banking licence of Swiss-based BSI Bank for serious breaches of money laundering regulations under the same probe.

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