Malaysia’s Petronas posts 9% jump in Q1 2019 profit

FILE PHOTO: A Petronas logo at their office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin

Malaysia’s state energy firm Petronas said on Friday work at its $27 billion refinery and petrochemical project in the southern state of Johor had slowed due to an explosion last month, but stuck to its timeline of resuming operations by the year-end.

The company also posted on Friday a 9% jump in quarterly profit and warned of a challenging year ahead given volatility in oil prices.

Petronas is in the final stages of finishing the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID), a 50-50 partnership with Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Saudi Aramco.

An explosion and fire occurred at the plant’s atmospheric residue desulphurisation unit in April. The fire was contained within 30 minutes.

“Work will be continued towards achieving planned commercial operation date in the fourth quarter, although not at full capacity,” the company said in a statement.

Investigations on the incident are still ongoing, Petronas said.

First-quarter profit at Petronas, the sole manager of Malaysia’s oil and gas reserves and a key contributor to state coffers, rose to 14.2 billion ringgit ($3.39 billion) from 13 billion ringgit.

Company’s revenue rose 7% to 62 billion ringgit.

Total production volume for the quarter dropped 1.3% to 2.4 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day due to lower crude production from Iraq. Sales of liquefied natural gas rose 6.7% to 8.45 million tonnes.

“The board expects the overall year-end performance of Petronas to be affected by the rising volatility of oil price and foreign exchange movement,” the company said.

The oil and gas industry will continue to operate in a challenging environment arising from market uncertainties and geopolitical risks, it said.

Last month, Petronas acquired a Singapore-based solar energy company as part of a strategy to move into renewable energy and chase high-growth business to complement its mainstay operations.

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.