12 December 2014

Petronas invests RM3.5 bil for gas project offshore Sarawak

Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is expected to spend US$500 mil (RM1.74 bil) to US$1 bil (RM3.5 bil) to develop Phase 1 of the K5 field offshore Sarawak, which is poised to be the world’s highest carbon dioxide concentration gas development project.

“Phase 1 of K5 is similar to a pilot project to test a technology that has never been used before to unlock opportunities not only in K5 but other recoverable hydrocarbon reserves around the world of about 910 trillion cubic feet (tcf).

“We are pioneering this due to our focus on research and development.

“Also, we have developed all our sweet and easy spots of natural resources reserves,” Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd head of technology (Technical Global) Dr Nasir Darman (pic) told a media briefing at the 8th International Petroleum Technology Conference here yesterday.

Nasir said Phase 1 of K5 was expected to start production by 2018. Discovered in 1970, K5 is a sour gas field with up to 70 per cent carbon dioxide content. It is located approximately 230 km from Bintulu in water depth of 80 metres.

To illustrate the sheer size of the K5 field, Nasir said the total development of Phase 1 would be enough to empower 400,000 households for 15 years.

“But ultimately, we will be the first to have a cryogenic distillation unit being installed offshore,” he said. Nasir said that once Petronas learnt about the technology used in Phase 1 of K5, it had the potential of exploring other recoverable hydrocarbon around the world totalling around 910 tcf.

“This initiative to pioneer the technology to develop high carbon dioxide gas field development is not taken by other oil and gas majors due to its economic limitations,” he pointed out.

Nasir added that at the moment, Petronas would not be looking for partners to develop the field, but would not rule out that option in the future.

“Currently, we just signed agreements with our partners in providing the expertise in technology,” he said. Petronas signed an agreement with Technip, Twister, Generon and UOP, a Honeywell company, to collaborate in terms of technology for the K5 field yesterday.