The contracts worth about RM300 billion awarded by Petronas to Bumiputera firms in the last five years show their high level of competitiveness and credibility, said the Malaysian Oil and Gas Services Council (MOGSC). MOGSC president Sofiyan Yahya said Bumiputera firms' level of activity in the oil and gas industry can be seen in the council, 90 per cent of whose 450 members are Bumiputera companies.
"MOGSC is willing to support Bumiputera firms who want to venture into this sector," he told Bernama.
While acknowledging complaints over Bumiputera firms' difficulty in getting a Petronas licence, he said the national oil company follows international standards and is very professional in its management. Sofiyan stressed that Petronas has never sidelined any Bumiputera firm, adding MOGSC would be willing to act as a mediator to solve any tender or licence-related issue.
"As an example, the main condition for getting a licence is Bumiputera status, and in the tender process, Petronas will invite Bumiputera contractors," he noted, saying the tender for the construction of the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex in Johor was reserved for Bumiputera contractors.
Bumiputera firms should think strategically to grab opportunities in the oil and gas industry, he said.
"Our Bumiputera expertise is exportable. We have a shortage of personnel, and this is the major obstacle preventing Bumiputera firms from expanding localy and overseas," he said.
He also urged them to use new technologies to manage the manpower shortage and not to make any knee-jerk reaction when they see other companies being awarded local oil and gas projects.
"What is important is after the project is completed, such as in servicing, repair and inspection works. Bumiputera firms should look at such opportunities," he said.
Opportunities for Bumiputera firms exist not just in Petronas but also in the foreign oil companies operating in Malaysia, he added.