KUALA LUMPUR May 14 Malaysia's Petroliam
Nasional (Petronas) is in talks with several companies
to sell a 10-12 percent stake in its planned $11 billion
Canadian liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, the state firm
said on Wednesday, as it announced a fall in its first-quarter
Net profit in the January to March period fell 8 percent to
16.2 billion ringgit ($5 billion) from 17.6 billion ringgit the
previous year, Petronas said in a briefing, attributing the fall
to higher operating expenses.
It said revenues rose 9.5 percent from a year earlier to 84
billion ringgit on improved production and stronger trading of
Petronas has been selling down its stake in the Canadian LNG
export terminal in order to share the cost of bringing cheap
energy to Asia.
It took a major step towards its goal of selling 50 percent
in April when it announced that China's Sinopec Group
and a Chinese state-owned power group would buy a 15
percent stake in the Pacific NorthWest LNG export facility.
"The idea is to reach up to 50 percent. We are in the
process and talking to 3-4 companies to take up an additional 10
percent," Petronas Chief Executive Shamsul Azhar Abbas told
"We're taking our time. If the price is right and there's a
good deal, but there's no hurry."
Petronas made a big push into the Canadian energy sector in
2012, acquiring Progress Energy for C$5.2 billion ($4.76
billion) in a deal that gave Malaysia's only Fortune 500 firm
access to shale properties in northeastern British Columbia.
Petronas, which finances more than a third of Malaysia's
government budget via dividends, said its total oil and gas
production in the first quarter rose 4.9 percent to 2.26 million
barrels of oil equivalent per day. That was driven partly by the
resumption of production in South Sudan, new production coming
online in Iraq and new gas production in Malaysia, it said.
In addition to its Canadian foray, Petronas has invested
heavily in Iraqi oilfields and ramped up exploration in Malaysia
as part of its five-year, 300 billion ringgit capital
expenditure programme that ends in 2015.
(Reporting By Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah; Editing by Stuart
Grudgings and Muralikumar Anantharaman)