Gulf Petroleum $5bn Malaysia project wins go-ahead

Qatar-based Gulf Petroleum has secured regulatory approvals to develop a $5-billion (Dh18.35bn) oil and petchem complex in the northern Malaysian state of Perak, the official Bernama news agency said on Monday.

Gulf Petroleum is leading a consortium of Gulf banking and energy firms to build the complex – an oil refinery, a petrochemicals plant and storage facilities – intended to serve as a regional hub for its Asia-Pacific activities.

Malaysia's International Trade and Industry Ministry gave the approvals on Friday, Bernama quoted Gulf Petroleum as saying in a statement.

Gulf Petroleum's shareholders include members of the Qatar royal family, the Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance Company, Al Mana Group, National Petroleum Group and the banking arm of Al Sari group, Gulf Petroleum said last month.

It aims to invest between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in the project's first phase to build an oil refinery of capacity between 100,000 and 150,000 barrels per day, the firm has said.

Separate investments estimated at $1.5 billion to $2 billion will be allocated for the petrochemical project and about $1 billion for the storage facilities, it said.

At least two Middle East national companies will participate in the project, along with major energy, banking and insurance groups from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt, the company said.

Qatar is the world's top producer of liquefied petroleum gas (gas frozen to a liquid for export on tankers) with the single largest non-associated gas reservoir in the world – about 900 trillion cubic feet of total recoverable gas from the giant North Field covering an area of 6,000 square km.

Qatar is also one of the smaller oil producers in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec).