Industry Information


Brief History

The first oil well discovered in Malaysia was by Shell company, in 1910 in Miri, Sarawak. Thereafter, the same company constructed Malaysia’s first refinery in 1914, which undertakes the whole manufacturing of petroleum products. At present, Malaysia’s oil company, PETRONAS undertakes the exploration and production of the oil and gas in Malaysia whilst Shell and other oil companies operates as a contractor to PETRONAS under Production Sharing Contracts1.


Malaysia’s oil and gas fields can be found mainly offshore of Peninsula Malaysia as well as the east coast. At present, Malaysia has 37 producing oil fields and 11 producing gas fields whilst several others are under development. The main five oil fields that produces high quality blends of crude can be found in the east of Peninsula Malaysia mainly, Tapis,Labuan, Miri, Bintulu and Dulang. It has been estimated that Malaysia is currently (January 2010)  producing 693,000 barrels of oils and 192 million cubic metres of gas per day2 (2011 projection: 70 bcm) establishing Malaysia as one of the niche players in the global oil and gas industry.

The Malaysian oil and gas industry is generally divided into upstream, midstream and downstream activities. Upstream activities consist of exploration, development and production of oil and gas resources. Midstream and downstream activities range from the transportation of oil and gas, to refining and processing through to marketing and trading of end products. The energy sector comprises power generation, transmission and distribution.

In terms of size, upstream oil and gas production including petroleum and gas contributes RM87 billion, while downstream activities including refining contributes RM24 billion. Separately, the energy sector contributes an additional RM16 billion to this sector3.


Malaysia has uncovered an estimated 214 gas field and most of these fields are under some development. As of January 2010 Malaysia has about 4 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves and about 83 trillion standard cubic feet of gas reserves. These reserves place Malaysia 16th for proven gas reserves and 32nd for proven oil reserves in terms of world rankings4.

Malaysia’s vast untapped resources, with many oil and gas fields remaining to be developed, provides golden opportunities for oil and gas players worldwide. Worldvest Asia Pacific is committed to share its expertise to help interested companies in gaining an foothold and even market share within the oil and gas industry in Malaysia.

  1. Source – Shell and Petronas Websites; © 1999-2011 PETRONAS & SHELL
  2. Source - © 2011
  3. Source – Malaysia Economic Transformation Programme – Chapter 6: Oil, Gas and Energy © 2009 – 2011 Economic Transformation Programme Handbook
  4. Source – Wikipedia; © 2011 Wikipedia