Petroleum Production in Malaysia
Date of Issue: 1985-11-04
Denominations: 15 cents, 20 cents, and $1.00
Stamp Size: 27.94 mm x 44.45 mm
Printing Process: Lithography
Printer: Security Printers (M) Sdn. Bhd. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Sheet Composition: 50 stamps
Designer: Andamaz Enterprise, Kuala Lumpur
Stamps in the Series:
First Day Cover:
Oil history in Malaysia had its beginning in the 19th century. The people of Sabah and Sarawak had long known of the existence of oil seepages or “earth oil” as it was called then, in various parts of the States, especially around Miri village. This oil was collected by the local Malays and was used first for medicinal purposes and later for lighting lamps and as a resin mixture for caulking boats.
However, commercial exploitation of Miri oil did not begin until the turn of the century when the Anglo Saxon Petroleum Company was granted the sole right to explore for petroleum resources throughout Sarawak. Drilling began in August 1910 and oil was struck in December that same year. Although initial daily production was merely 83 barrels, this nonetheless is generally taken as the starting point of the Malaysian petroleum industry.
The Miri success encouraged further attempts to discover other onshore fields in Sabah and Sarawak. Although traces of oil-bearing formations were encountered, no accumulations were found that were large enough to justify drilling activities. To date, the Miri field is Malaysia’s only onshore field and during its life-span of about 62 years, it has yielded over 80 million barrels of oil.
By the 1950s, the search for oil had been diverted to the offshore areas. The move offshore began to show results in the early 1960s when significant quantities of oil were discovered in two areas offshore Sarawak. Other discoveries of oil and gas fields followed in rapid succession in the waters off Sarawak which came onstream in June 1968.
In the years following the incorporation of PETRONAS or Petroliam Nasional Berhad on 17th August 1974 as the national petroleum corporation, Malaysia’s reserves of crude oil and natural gas have increased steadily. As at 1st January 1985, the nation’s proven oil reserves were estimated at 3.1 billion barrels, while natural gas reserves were estimated at 53 trillion cubic feet.
Crude oil production in 1984 averaged 440,000 barrels per day. Natural gas now also features prominently in the economy of the nation. In 1984, Malaysia produced 1,090 million cubic feet of gas per day, most of which was processed into liquefied natural gas or LNG, for export. Malaysia is now a net exporter of petroleum, a status she achieved in 1976.