Malaysia’s Petronas logs higher Q1 LNG sales, profit

Malaysian energy giant Petronas reported a rise in its quarterly liquefied natural gas (LNG) sales, while its profit rose 1.7 percent when compared to the January-March period last year.

Total LNG sales rose 6 percent to 8.88 million tonnes during January-March when compared to 8.38 million tonnes in the same quarter last year.

LNG sales were flat when compared to the previous quarter’s 8.90 million tonnes.

Petronas said in its results report that gross LNG sales volume increased by 0.50 million tonnes mainly due to higher plant production in line with higher demand.

109 Bintulu LNG cargoes

During the first quarter, Petronas delivered 109 LNG cargoes from the giant 30 mtpa Bintulu LNG export facility in Sarawak, and completed 941 virtual pipeline system and LNG bunkering deliveries.

The Bintulu plant, which has shipped more than 12,000 LNG cargoes since it started operations back in 1983, consists of nine trains and supplies key demand centers such as Japan, South Korea, China, and Taiwan.

In October, Petronas declared force majeure on gas supply to Malaysia LNG Dua’s facility at the Bintulu LNG complex. The move followed a pipeline leak caused by soil movement.

MLNG Dua operates the second liquefaction facility as part of the complex.

The Bintulu LNG complex includes MLNG Satu, MLNG Dua, MLNG Tiga, and the most recent Train 9 which started commercial operations in 2017.

FLNG

Besides the onshore facilities, Petronas continues to expand its FLNG business and has awarded the engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning (EPCC) contract for the nearshore floating LNG project in Sabah.

Japan’s LNG engineer JGC and South Korea’s Samsung Heavy will build the third floating LNG producer for Petronas and the unit will have capacity of 2 million tonnes of LNG per year. It is scheduled for completion in 2027.

Upon completion, the nearshore LNG plant will increase Petronas’ LNG production from floating LNG facilities from 2.7 mtpa to 4.7 mtpa.

Currently, Petronas operates two floating LNG facilities, namely the 1.2 mtpa PFLNG Satu, as well as the 1.5 mtpa PFLNG Dua, both located offshore Sabah.

Petronas said it had delivered nine LNG cargoes from these two floating LNG producers during the January-March period.

Profit up

Petronas reported profit of 23.8 billion ringgit ($5.15 billion) for the quarter, compared to 23.4 billion ringgit in the year before.

Revenue rose by 16 percent to 90.4 billion ringgit in the first quarter.

“Given the risk of continued uncertainty and volatility in the business environment, Petronas will maintain a cautious outlook for 2023,” it said.

“Oil and gas prices are expected to moderate due to continued economic uncertainties, hence lower profitability is anticipated compared to last year,” the firm said.

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