Malaysia’s Petronas logs lower LNG sales in Q1, profit jumps

Malaysia’s energy giant Petronas reported a 6 percent drop in its first-quarter liquefied natural gas (LNG) sales, while its profit jumped on the back of higher oil and gas prices.

Total LNG sales during January-March dropped 1 percent to 8.38 million tonnes. This compares to 8.93 million tonnes in the first-quarter last year and 8.13 million tonnes in the prior quarter.

Petronas said in its quarterly report released on Tuesday that LNG sales declined by 0.55 million tonnes mainly due to “lesser trading opportunities” as compared to the first quarter in 2021.

During the quarter, Petronas delivered two carbon-neutral LNG cargoes from the giant 30 mtpa Bintulu LNG export facility in Sarawak to China’s Shenergy, as part of a deal revealed in September last year.

In total, the firm said it has delivered 102 LNG cargoes from the Bintulu complex during the quarter to customers across the globe.

The 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.

Petronas said it has also completed 465 virtual pipeline system and LNG bunkering deliveries, “fulfilling the growing demand for natural gas from remote customers and from the marine industry in Malaysia.”

Besides the onshore facilities, Petronas continues to work on its FLNG business.

It shipped the first cargo in March last year from its second floating LNG producer located in the Rotan gas field, offshore Sabah.

The 1.5 mtpa PFLNG Dua adds to the 1.2 mtpa PFLNG Satu located offshore Sabah as well.

On top of these these two FLNGs, Petronas also plans to build a third unit and it has awarded two front-end engineering design (FEED) contracts for the nearshore FLNG project in Sabah.

Profit, revenue up

Looking at overall results, Petronas reported profit of 23.4 billion ringgit ($5.33 billion) for the first quarter, a rise of 154 percent versus 9.1 billion ringgit in the year before.

Revenue rose 50 percent to 78.8 billion ringgit when compared to 52.5 billion ringgit, predominantly due to price impact for major products in line with higher benchmark prices, the company said.

Despite “favorable” quarterly performance, Petronas said it expects the high oil and gas prices to remain vulnerable with increased volatility due to geopolitical and macro-economic uncertainties.

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