Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A change of leadership at the top of Petronas, as Malaysia deals with oil crunch

Shamsul Azhar Abbas the current head of the Malaysian energy giant Petronas and champion of the Pacific NorthWest LNG initiative for the North Coast is soon to be out as President of the company, that decision made as the Malaysian government tries to come to terms with the implosion of the world energy markets and the hit it has had on Government finances in recent months.

The LNG Global news portal was one of the first of the energy news wires to outline the pending
Outgoing Petronas CEO
Shamsul Azhar Abba
change at the top of the Malaysian company.

Highlighting a Bloomberg Business report  which offers up some background regarding the decision reached by the Malaysian Government.

The Government is turning to Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, a long time part of the Petronas team to deal with the slump in the price of oil and the impact it is having not only on Petronas, but on Malaysian Government revenues.

He most recently was the CEO and Executive VP and CEO of Petronas' downstream Operations.

Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin,
the New CEO and President for
The new President and CEO will take over in April and it's expected that he will usher in a new era of belt tightening for the energy company, all part of the larger plan to assist the Malaysian government, which owns Petronas, with its ongoing budget concerns.

The soon to be departing Mr. Abbas, who was steering the Pacific NorthWest project,  put the project on hold late last year, suggesting that Petronas would make a final investment decision on its proposed Lelu Island project sometime in the first half of 2015.

Whether the change of command in Kauala Lumpur has an impact on that timetable remains to be seen. It has been reported that Petronas has already committed to a reduction in capital spending by up to 20 per cent for this year.

Some background on the leadership discussions can be found below, highlighting the importance that Petronas has to the overall Malaysian economy.

Petronas names Wan Zulkiflee as new president
Wan Zulkiflee is new Petronas Chairman effective April
Wan Zul takes over as Petronas head on April 1
Next 24 Hours will determine who runs Petronas
Successor for Top Job at Petronas to be announced soon

Pacific Northwest LNG officials are scheduled to provide a more locally directed overview of developments for the North coast tonight at Prince Rupert City Council.

This evening's review is most likely more of a session to provide updates on design and community engagement, making it  doubtful that the larger issues of corporate change will be explored at tonight's council meeting.

For more on the Pacific NorthWest LNG proposal see our archive page here.

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