PM calls for partnerships among Asian O&G leaders

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on June 25, 2019.

(From left) Wan Zulkiflee, Dr Mahathir, Petronas chairman Datuk Ahmad Nizam Salleh and AOGC 2019 organising committee chairman Mohd Yusri Mohamed Yusof at the AOGC in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Photo by Shahrin Yahya

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KUALA LUMPUR: To withstand rising challenges facing the oil and gas (O&G) industry, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is calling for Asian industry leaders to enter into strategic dialogues to open up possibilities of new avenues for collaboration that will lead to new energy solutions.

The premier, in delivering his keynote address at the 20th Asia Oil & Gas Conference 2019 (AOGC 2019) yesterday, stressed that for Asia to develop within the industry, the countries in the region must explore a range of options to improve energy efficiency and affordability by diversifying their energy mix.

“We must therefore recognise the potential of our neighbours to forge strategic alliances on the back of a Prosper-Thy-Neighbour policy that promotes the concept of shared prosperity. Only then can we forge a new energy future that is sustainable and secure for generations to come,” he said.

In this regard, Dr Mahathir highlighted that the national O&G company, Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), had spearheaded an industry-wide study with various agencies to develop an oil, gas, energy and environment white paper on Malaysia’s future energy landscape.

“The study supports the country’s aspirations to be a low-carbon economy with a blueprint for energy policies that will stimulate action towards achieving Malaysia’s Paris Agreement pledge. Petronas and its partners should be commended for undertaking this study,” he said.

Petronas president and group chief executive officer Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, in his welcome address, agreed with the prime minister’s sentiment.

He said the new energy landscape calls for greater collaboration not only between industry players but also with other industries. Hence, he emphasised that energy companies will need to explore non-traditional partnerships to provide innovative solutions.

“This change in mindset is crucial as the industry is faced with greater consumer demands for sustainable and responsible environmental products.

“Changes in business models brought about the digital transformation, and the need to acquire different capabilities and skill sets are also important to forge partnerships beyond the energy space — all towards ensuring the sustainability of our organisations as well as the industry as a whole,” Wan Zulkiflee said.

In its 20th edition, the AOGC 2019 this year is themed “Forging a New Energy Future”. The two-day conference that ends today will host strategic conversations that address the growing demand for affordable, accessible and efficient energy.

With 1,400 delegates from 34 countries, the conference will also look at how the industry should continue to seek opportunities in forging a sustainable energy future for generations to come, Wan Zulkiflee said.