November 29, 2011

ROC Oil to bid more projects in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur: Australia’s ROC Oil Co Ltd is keen to bid for more Malaysian projects after clinching a deal to develop the Balai cluster marginal oilfield, offshore Sarawak, with partners Dialog Group Bhd and Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd.

ROC general manager for corporate affairs and planning Mathew Gerber said Balai is an initial entry and the company aims to increase its presence in Malaysia’s oil and gas sector, if given the opportunity.

“We have a lot more to offer,” he said, adding that the project award is a vote of confidence in ROC’s abilities as an operator of small fields.

ROC’s maiden project in Malaysia will be carried out in two phases, with the pre-development phase due to begin in the second half of 2011 and take up 18 months to complete before the start of the development phase. The company expects the project to begin production two years after it starts the development phase.

“There is no discussion (on drilling) at this point of time. It’s pre-development in the next few months,” he said in an interview with Business Times, here recently.

ROC’s local unit, ROC Oil Malaysia Holdings Sdn Bhd, holds 48 per cent of the partnership. Dialog has another 32 per cent while Petronas Carigali owns the remaining 20 per cent.

"Future cashflows, the existing debt facility as well as potential project financial through the joint-venture company should adequately fund pre-development phase capital costs," he said.

This could be between US$200 million and US$250 million (RM638 million and RM798 million). Listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, ROC has over 180 employees with offices in Sydney, Perth, and Beijing, apart from Kuala Lumpur.

For the first half of 2011, the company posted a trading profit of US$51.5 million (RM164.2 million), on the back of a revenue of US$131.2 million (RM418.5), with operating cost of US$19.16 (RM61.12) per barrel of oil equivalent.

"We are fortunate to be here just when Malaysia decides to open up its oil and gas industry. The Malaysian government has been successful in attracting foreign companies to boost the industry through various incentives," Gerber said. -Business Times


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