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Govt to monitor Petronas' new oil and gas project for 'implications'

Publish date: Mon, 22 Apr 2024, 06:38 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Ministry will closely monitor Petronas' new oil and gas exploration project in the Langkasuka basin over concerns of "potential implications".

Its minister, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, said the project was still in its "exploration" stage, with monitoring processes being carried out periodically.

"We will closely monitor any new projects that are underway. I believe Petronas is also paying attention to this matter, and they are very sensitive to the needs for a fair transition to more sustainable energy resources.

"This project is still in the exploratory phase, so it means that the monitoring process will be ongoing," he told the media at the Program Felo Keadilan at PKR's headquarters here, today.

Environmental watchdog Rimbawatch had issued a warning regarding the alleged potential implications of Petronas' exploration project in the Langkasuka basin, located in the northern area of the Straits of Malacca.

It is situated just 30km from Penang Island, and 20km from Langkawi.

In their statement, Rimbawatch expressed concern that the oil and gas exploration would not only affect Malaysia's mitigation responsibilities but also threaten the biodiversity of coastal marine life and disrupt the livelihoods of local fishermen and the tourism industry.

Meanwhile, Nik Nazmi said all new projects that could potentially impact the environment would undergo monitoring to ensure compliance with environmental protection standards.

"We believe that any new project to be implemented must adhere to environmental standards and have a very high responsibility to the community.

"We also adhere to the agreement reached at the United Nations climate meeting (COP28) that for us to move forward, there needs to be a transition away from fossil fuels.

"However, we also believe that this transition needs to be made fairly, and Malaysia heavily relies on Petronas' natural resources as its largest contributor," he added.

The New Straits Times has reached out to Petronas for comments.

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