Kuala Lumpur, 27th July 2017 – The British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce’s (BMCC) has launched its first sector specific committee in Energy to serve as the principal platform upon which partnerships and collaborations are formed between Malaysia and Britain in the oil, gas and energy industries.
H.E Vicki Treadell CMG, MVO, the British High Commissioner to Malaysia who officiated the launch at her residence said “Historically, Britain has a long and established presence through oil & gas companies here in Malaysia, not to mention close ties with local powerhouses. The formation of this committee is certainly a great initiative in strengthening the trade relations between our two nations.”
“The BMCC has been a delivery partner to the Department of International Trade (DIT) for many years now, and this is a promising step forward in ensuring the trade support provided by the Chamber is further enhanced,” she said.
The impetus for this committee’s formation came about when the BMCC hosted a roundtable discussion in 2016 through a partnership with Petrofac Malaysia, which featured its CEO Mr. Ayman Asfari. Under his mandate as the UK’s Business Ambassador to the energy sector; a title granted to him by former British Prime Minister David Cameron, Ayman has been tasked with aiding UK oil & gas businesses to heighten global presence, particularly in emerging markets such as Malaysia.
At this roundtable discussion attended by 35 upstream operators from the UK involved in business activities here in Malaysia, Ayman underscored several key issues in the oil & gas industry, stemming from a current state of volatility. Ayman suggested that companies should be closely located in the area of operation as opposed to remote managing due to the government’s adoption of austerity measures on resources for foreign firms, a result of economic downturn.
Ayman acknowledged that of the 30,000 companies in the UK operating within oil and gas sectors; only those capable of enhancing efficiency whilst reducing operation downtime will experience greater success in new markets. This includes efforts to integrate frontier digital technology towards improving delivery standards. He added that the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) must focus on identifying such companies as they possess the greatest chance of success in new markets.
In 2014, Malaysia produced about 697,000 barrels of oil per day, most of which was extracted from offshore fields. Over the course of more than two decades since 1991, production in the country fluctuated between 650,000 and 850,000 barrels per day. According to the U.S. EIA, recent down- ward production trends can be attributed largely to declining output on ageing oil fields. The Malaysian government is responding by encouraging investment in recovery technology and new field development.
Malaysia however, remains the second largest oil and natural gas producer in Southeast Asia, the second largest exporter of liquified natural gas globally, and is strategically located amid important routes for seaborne energy trade.
It is from these issues that the idea for a BMCC Energy Committee arose to serve as the facilitating body for which UK and Malaysian companies can come together to dissect concerns and discover solutions in the name of oil & gas advancements. Unlike other existing oil & gas committees or councils which caters to all international companies, the BMCC’s Energy Committee exists to serve exclusively British and Malaysian entities.
With BMCC’s Energy Committee chief mission in promoting business between Malaysia and Britain in the oil, gas and energy sector, its key objectives includes introducing new innovative technologies pertinent to the sector, to identify and address business issues as well as maintaining a comprehensive database of Malaysian-British companies involved oil and gas. The committee will also organise and host networking events and activities to provide additional avenues for engagement and exposure.
Aurelia Silva, Executive Director of the BMCC who was present at the launch commented, “The Chamber is perpetually eager in exploring new opportunities to give back to our members and this committee’s formation is one such endeavour. The Energy Committee is the first of several others to be launched, with Education and ICT sectors in the pipeline. We have received positive responses from key industry players keen to be involved, and we’re looking forward to facilitating more spaces for dialogues like these in the interest of advancing the vital sectors between our two nations.”
The BMCC Energy Committee, which is currently made up of ten members represented by several of the industry’s most influential oil & gas figures from Petrofac, Shell, Linatex Rubber Products (Weir Group), Lloyd’s Register, EIC, EM&I, Enquest, NES Global Talent and Serba Dinamik will continue to host bi-monthly meetings to discuss critical matters both current and future. This committee with support from the Department for International Trade will also see the BMCC foster closer collaborations with MOGSC and the EIC with more active support and promotional initiatives whilst facilitating better business-to-government relations.