Malaysia and fossil gas

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Energy Monitor coverage of fossil gas

Malaysia has a population of 34.3 million.[1] GDP growth was 3.1% in 2021 and 8.7% in 2022.[2]

The country has a long history of gas usage. LNG exports began in the 1980s, small pipeline exports to Singapore commenced in 1992, pipeline imports from Indonesia began in 2003, and LNG imports began in 2013.[3] In 2021, Malaysia was the 5th largest LNG exporter in the world.[4]

Fossil Gas in the Fuel Mix

Malaysia is second behind Thailand in gas consumption for Southeast Asia. Total gas consumption in 2021 was 41.1 bcm.[5] Peninsular Malaysia accounts for 55% of total gas consumption in Malaysia. [6]

The majority of demand comes from the power sector.[6] In 2021, total electricity generation was 177.2 TWh.[5] Of this, 77.3 TWh was generated using coal, 63.3 TWh through gas, 32.4 TWh through hydropower resources, 3.1 TWh using renewable energy resources, and the remaining 1.1 TWh through oil. [5]

The use of gas in the petrochemical industry is another key driver of demand growth. The Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC) is expected to be a major driver of industrial gas demand as various projects are coming online. The PIPC is a major downstream project being developed by Petronas in Pengerang, Malaysia. It is being developed over four phases from 2012 to 2037.[7][8] The project includes oil refineries, naphtha crackers, petrochemical plants, an LNG import terminal, and a 3.5 million tonnes/yr regasification plant.[7] The Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID), a key part of PIPC, is a 300,000 barrels-per-day refinery and petrochemical complex.[9]

In Peninsular Malaysia, gas supplied by the Peninsular Gas Utilization pipeline is used for district cooling and transportation.[10]

A recent May 2022 APEC Energy Outlook - 8th Edition report forecasts that by 2050 coal-to-gas conversions and higher power generation requirements will increase consumption five-fold compared to business asusual. The report also suggests that the share of gas-fired power generation will increase from a third to 71% in 2050, with an installed gas capacity of over 36 GW. [11]

Malaysia submitted its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in 2021, in which it committed to an unconditional target of a 45% reduction in carbon intensity against GDP below 2005 levels, to be achieved in 2030.[12]

Fossil Gas Production, Imports, and Transportation

As of 2020, Malaysia had 41.8 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves.[13]

Total gas production in Malaysia as of 2021 was 74.2 bcm, of which 33.5 bcm was exported as LNG, mainly to Japan (13.9 bcm), China (11.7 bcm), and South Korea (5.3 bcm).[5]

Pipeline imports from Indonesia began in 2002,[3] and the import volume in 2021 was 0.4 bcm.[5] In 2021, Malaysia imported 2.1 bcm of LNG from Australia, 0.3 bcm from Brunei, and 0.1 bcm from Nigeria.[5]

The majority of gas production is concentrated in offshore Sarawak. Petronas and other oil companies have made discoveries of gas reserves in Sarawak in the past decade.[14] Gas produced in offshore Peninsular Malaysia is used for domestic consumption and the export market. Offshore Sabah and Sarawak gas fields are used for domestic consumption and LNG export.[10]

The Pegaga gas field, operated by Mubadala Petroleum and located offshore Sarawak, commenced gas production in 2022.[15]

The Malaysia-Thailand Joint Development Area (MTJDA) is located in the lower part of the Gulf of Thailand and the northern part of the Malay Bay. The MTJDA is divided into three blocks (A-18, B-17, and C-19), each with nine fields, and each country owns 50 percent of the resources. Block A-18 started production in 2005 and has 8 bcm/year of contracted gas. Blocks B-17 and C-19 came online in 2010 and are contracted for 2.6 bcm/year for the period 2020-2026. There continues to be exploration in the MTJDA for gas and hydrocarbons.[3]

PETRONAS has also been sourcing gas from the Malaysia-Vietnam Commercial Arrangement Area (CAA) since 2003.[16]

The Kawasari gas field, an offshore field being developed in the South China Sea, scheduled to come online in 2023, has an estimated recoverable gas resource of 3 tscf with an estimated 900 mcf/day of gas production.[17] Petronas Carigalo is the developer and operator of the Kasawari gas field.[18]

In 2019, one of the world's largest gas reserves, the Lang Lebah-1RDR2 exploration well in offshore Sarawak, was discovered.[19] Petronas estimates the size of the reserve at 5 trillion cubic feet.[20]

The KBB cluster, consisting of Kebabangan, Kamunsu East, and Kumunsu East Upthrown Canyon, are three gas fields currently under development in northwestern Sabah. The KBB cluster is estimated to hold 4.7 trillion cubic feet of gas.[3]

The Malaysia LNG complex, also known as Petronas Bintulu LNG Complex, located in Bintulu, is one of the largest LNG complexes in the world. It has three LNG processing plants, including Satu Malaysia Terminal, Dua Malaysia LNG Terminal, and Tiga Malaysia LNG Terminal. The complex has a total liquefaction capacity of 30 mtpa.[21]

Government Agencies and Other Key Players in Gas Sector

Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), established in 1974, is Malaysia's fully integrated oil and gas company. The state-owned company owns all upstream gas developments and plays a major role in downstream activities.[3]

Shell is the largest gas producer and developer of deepwater fields in Malaysia.[3]

Other companies with considerable upstream investments in Malaysia's gas fields include Murphy Oil, ConocoPhillips, Nippon Oil, INPEX, and Mitsubishi.[3]

Articles and Resources


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  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 "Emerging Asia LNG Demand". Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 "BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2022" (PDF). Retrieved January 15, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. 6.0 6.1 "National Energy Balance, 2019" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
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  10. 10.0 10.1 "Gas Industry Reform and the Evolution of a Competitive Gas Market in Malaysia". The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. Retrieved January 14, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. "APEC Energy Demand and Supply Outlook" (PDF). 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. "NATIONALLY DETERMINED CONTRIBUTION - Malaysia" (PDF). UNFCCC. 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. Global Legal Group. "Oil & Gas Laws and Regulations Report 2023 Malaysia". International Comparative Legal Guides International Business Reports. Retrieved 2023-06-16.
  14. "Unexplored areas in Sarawak may hold vast potential for energy". Oxford Business Group. 2015-04-23. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  15. "Pegaga Field Enters Gas Production Phase | PETRONAS Global". Retrieved 2023-06-21.
  17. "Siemens wins contract for Petronas Kasawari gas field development project". The Edge Markets. 2020-06-04. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  18. "Kasawari Gas Field Development Project - NS Energy". Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  19. "PTTEP Discovers Giant Gas Deposit Offshore Malaysia". Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  20. "Top 2019 World Class Discoveries: Lang Lebah, Sarawak | Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM)". Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  21. "PETRONAS | A progressive energy and solutions partner, enriching lives for a sustainable future". PETRONAS Global. Retrieved 2021-01-18.