By August 22, 2016 Read More →

Petronas sees gloomy industry outlook as Q2 profit slumps


Petronas says it has not yet made a decision on its LNG project in British Columbia. The company is waiting for a federal agency to complete a review process.

Petronas profits down 85 per cent

By Emily Chow

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 (Reuters) – Malaysian state-owned oil firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) on Monday said low oil prices dragged quarterly profit down 85 percent, and labelled the industry outlook “gloomy” well into 2017.

Petronas has seen a global slump in oil prices squeeze finances, which make up a third of Malaysia’s oil and gas revenue. The benchmark Brent futures price, which hit a 12-year low earlier this year, rose 25 percent in the second quarter but remains lower than a year earlier.

“We should expect to see volatility continue and Petronas will not bank on optimistic oil prices to ease up on pressure,” President and Chief Executive Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said at a news conference.

“The combined factors of oversupply, growing inventories and slower demand growth point to an ongoing gloomy outlook well into 2017.”

Wan Zulkiflee said Petronas planned for an average price this year of $30 a barrel, unchanged from its February forecast. Brent crude, after a recent rally, traded at $49.50 at 1021 GMT.

For April-June, net profit hit 1.62 billion ringgit ($402.48 million) on revenue that fell 21 percent to 48.44 billion ringgit.

Petronas said highly volatile oil prices had led to impairment charges rising nearly 15 times from a year prior to 7.16 billion ringgit in the second quarter. It said it expects price volatility to lead to more charges, albeit to a lesser degree.


Petronas at the start of the year announced it would cut spending by up to 50 billion ringgit over the next four years in response to the oil price slump.

On Monday, Wan Zulkiflee said Petronas would enforce “fiscal discipline” regardless of oil price movement and that the firm expects to meet its dividend commitment of 16 billion ringgit to the government for this year.

He also said the company has not made any final decision on its liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in western Canada.

Petronas and partners have been waiting about three years for a permit to build the Pacific NorthWest LNG export terminal in northern British Columbia. They are now waiting for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to finish the final leg of its review.

Petronas expects the Canadian authorities to make a decision on the project in September or October, Wan Zulkiflee said.

“Until we get the final decision and presumably with the final conditions, we are not able to decide,” he said.

(Reporting by Emily Chow; Writing by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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