‘Give us back 50 sen on every oil-derived ringgit’

Sabah oil and gas contractors are proposing that an institution be set up to protect the industry in the state.

(Free Malaysia Today) – The Sabah Oil and Gas Contractors Association (Sogca) wants Sabahans to look beyond the 5% oil royalty which the state is currently receiving from Petronas and instead seek at least half of every ringgit that is made from its oil and gas exports.

“We should not be asking for the royalty or the (oil) blocks… that’s secondary. We should be asking that for every ringgit taken from our oil revenue, at least 50 sen or 30 sen be given back to us, either directly or indirectly. That would be much fairer,” said Iskandar Malik, its president.

He also mocked local leaders for believing they had accomplished something important and triumphantly proclaiming to the media as though it was a coup whenever Petronas announced that it was giving some huge projects to Sabah.

Iskandar explained that this is because in one way or other, Petronas would still make its money out of Sabah people.

He said the fact remained that on average, the people of Sabah are spending about RM180 million per month on oil and gas based on a conservative estimate that some two million consumers in the state are spending an average of RM3 per day either on electricity consumption or on gas for transport and other use.

“In other words, we in Sabah are actually buying back our own oil and gas at RM2 billion a year. Hence it is only fair that Petronas should award the contracts to us directly, and not through other channels like the middle men or so-called foreign experts,” he said.

Noting that that the truth of the oil and gas business lies in the number of barrels of oil the state produces daily, Iskandar questioned how many barrels were Sabahans allowed to sell directly as traders.

“Not even one drop of it. That’s the sad truth,” he said, adding that Sabah currently produces 200,000 barrels of oil daily.

He also reminded that Sabah’s existing 2.3 billion barrels of oil reserve is expected to last “a very short period” of 43 years.