Oil in Malaysia: Worrying trend


As petrol pump prices rise steadily (another increase in RON 97 price has just been reported), here’s a less well known trend: Malaysian oil production has been gradually falling since peaking in 2004.

This graph should be of concern to all Malaysians. Notice the production-consumption gap narrowing.

Graphic credit: http://www.eia.doe.gov

That’s why they are dishing out contracts for ‘enhanced’ oil recovery.

Says the US Energy Information Administration:

Total oil production in 2009 was 693,000 barrels per day (bbl/d), of which 83 percent was crude oil. More than half of total Malaysian oil production currently comes from the Tapis field in the offshore Malay basin. Malaysian oil production has been gradually decreasing since reaching a peak of 862,000 bbl/d in 2004 due to its maturing offshore reservoirs. Malaysia consumes the majority of its production and domestic consumption has been rising as production has been falling. Exports in 2009 were 157,000 bbl/d. However, the government is focused on opening up new investment opportunities by enhancing output from existing fields and developing new fields in deepwater areas offshore Sarawak and Sabah.

Isn’t it time we looked at how we can conserve our reserves for future generations, instead of consuming like there is no tomorrow? We cannot pretend that oil is an infinite resource.

It’s also time we really looked at how we are spending our oil revenue and frittering away precious resources. We need more accountability and transparency in Petronas accounts as well.

We need a more sustainable and environmentally friendly economic model that is also socially just.

Please help to support this blog if you can.

Read the commenting guidlelines for this blog.
Notify of

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Singapore is doing so well without producing a drop of oil (be it petroleum or palm oil).

Decline in oil production is less worrying if compared to the mismanagement from the top.

The pressing need is a good government which we are lacking now!


If only the car industry in Malaysia can wake up and start selling diesel cars, it is enough palm oil to mix up with the remaining crude to keep on driving!!


Diesel engine ? ROFL. We have a … up JPJ that hostile towards “clean diesel” engine. In addition, Malaysia national car are utterly failure in technology, talking diesel is a joke .
However, it is technical viable/cheaper to add the LPG (liquid petroleum gas) to the car as an fuel option. LPG are cheaper than diesel.

Nevertheless, Malaysia petrol are TOO CHEAP to convince mass conversion to LPG. In addition, Malaysia government didn’t make LPG refuel an compulsory to petrol station, only few Petronas station having it.


Perhaps you are unaware yet that a “green” diesel engine draws about the same road tax as a petrol engine these days. No, JPJ is not hostile towards diesel. They are only hostile against poorly maintained diesel engines which emit dark smokes. A 2.5 litre diesel car gets about the same mileage as a 1.6 litre waja. The reason why LPG for vehicles is so cheap in this country is mainly because of the huge subsidy. This is the result of complains from taxi drivers years ago. It is also the key reason why outlets for them are so few.… Read more »


What is petronas doing about it? Don’t they have investments overseas? Don’t they have productions overseas? Malaysia should start building storage facilities and begin shipping those crude oil back to Msia now.


I think general public like you need a crash course about this crude oil export thingy.

1. Malaysia low sulphur crude oil export to EU/USA because it fetch higher premium price. OTH, Malaysia import Middle east high sulphur crude oil and process it for own usage.

2. Oil reserved means keep the oil underground UNTOUCHED, or shut down oil field that deem unprofitable. Even USA strategic oil reserved doesn’t mean there is a humongous tank storage for it.


Do not be so naive.

Petronas oil overseas are alredy (allegedly) ‘gadai’ to the 3rd party petroleum company – to (allegedly) supply the war chest for BN election machinery(?). Therefore any rise in petrol price does not really benefit Petronas. Petronas is just the custodian of the petroleum that has been sold to a third party.


Just can’t imagine how is Malaysia going to survive when crude oil reserce is exhausted.

But I can imagine when the last barrel of commercially extractible crude oil is pumped, fellow Malaysians will have to earn a living as maids and laborers in SEA countries.


The curse of ‘black gold’ has struck many oil producing Arab nations.

Same thing would happen in Malaysia as BN has squandered the wealth of the nation… (and now) that Tun ‘Apanama’ is still the advisor of Petronas.

Andrew I

Meanwhile, here’s more from the Star with its latest description of Tony-Tony:

“Tony Fernandes, the flamboyant founder of budget carrier AirAsia, will be competing on the grid separately this year.”

Richard Branson, soon to be aka Cupid Stunt (seen here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=cupid+stunt+kenny+everett&aq=1), might be feeling a bit left out.

Off topic.


Anil, jangan worry your head off lah. Ada minyak, tiada minyak will make very little difference to your life style…you will still be punching hard on your keyboard for a decent living!…haha
In Aussieland, we say, “No worries mate, she’ll be fine!”

Andrew I

But the fact-based msm has been trumpeting that bloggers are raking in millions. Are you not on the Star Fortune 100 list, Anil?


Don’t count on so call blog advertisement earning hypes. Actually, most “successful money making” blogger, actually running a scheme to sell “secret to make money”, for a price e.g. RM 59.90.


“Don’t worry be happy, she’ll be fine!”
This is typical of the self-claimed Ketuanan Melayu mentality…frivolous and corrupted. Somehow, Allah favors the muslim nations with black gold. I wonder why?


USA, Russia and China are now the world top oil producer. USA keep their own oil reserved and take middle east oil, and now China taking similar path.

Without oil subsidies, lots of felda settler will sure fail on economy scale. Subsidies are so successful that Malaysian agriculture industry, fail to enact any union to pursue their course. Fisherman, farmer complain about various policies,but still ,they refuse to form union. Hard time ahead, but who cares. Sometime people so ignorant that they blame others that cause it.


And they continue to vote the very people (UMNO BN & Najib) who make them hard

Nur Limah

The BN government has failed to manage our country, and the rakyat are blamed for taking too much subsidy. Why is it always the rakyat get the blame for BN’s failure and BN’s corruption?

In fact, we all know BN is spending too much – building new palaces, 100-storey tower, mega-projects, Gamuda rail project, etc, and borrowing money under the name of Malaysians. Everyone of you is saddled with the debt, but the money is spent by BN, not you

Nur Prima

Inilah yang akan membawa padah kepada negara Islam yang lain seperti Malaysia.


This is what happened to Egypt. Oil production had sustained the country for so long. Every had a job and cheap food on the table. As long as that happens, everyone tolerated all the corruption going on. And then oil production in Egypt peaked and dropped a few years ago … and oil consumption continue to rise. Just last year, Egypt became a net importer of oil and that was when the dominoes fell. Careful now … oil will not be there forever in Malaysia. The rakyat will find it harder to afford food and then see what happens in… Read more »


The problem is what will be the price of fuel when crude oil price reaches US$120? Yet, the government can still roll out multi-billion ringgit projects as if there is no tomorrow. Don’t these BN voters also realise that incessant government borrowing will have a severe impact on our future economy? With too much debt, our economic status will be downgraded, inflation will rise and the majority of people will soon be living with barely enough to survive. Our oil revenues are declining and other non-oil revenues are needed. Instead of the high-income society we have, there’ll be a high-inequitable-income… Read more »


I think their more immediate concern is not to lose power in Putra Jaya.
The future of our children (not theirs anyway) can be sacrificed.

That’s why I say Malaysians are so stupid to buy their story which is allegedly put together by a Jewish Public Relations company using our tax money.


why gave away 2 oil field worth 200bil to Brunei??? Stupid BN politician…