Growing Oil and Gas Technology Champions from Malaysia

oil and gas

Photo caption:
NGLTech's first-of-its-kind Low Pressure Condensate Recovery (LP CRS) system successfully fitted on MISC Bhd's Marginal Marine Production Unit (MaMPU 1) to increase oil production via recovery from unwanted flaring gas.

There is a strong appetite in Malaysia for innovative, cost-effective technologies in oil recovery at challenging oilfields and local tech solutions providers are getting into the game.

The Malaysian oil and gas market's demand for technology these days is largely driven by the need for economically viable recovery of reserves at maturing and marginal fields. Adding to this are pressures faced by operators to maintain productivity at lower costs, whilst also reducing the impact of production activities to the environment. It is not difficult to see the complexities at play.

PETRONAS senior vice president for project delivery and technology Mazuin Ismail set the tone on the national oil company's strategy in the PETRONAS' Activity Outlook 2018-2020: "To thrive in this challenging environment, technology is key for us to unlock value and deliver sustainable solutions for our industry."

The market is heeding this call with several local companies ramping up to deliver.

Recovering oil from marginal fields whilst reducing carbon emissions

Home grown innovation helps marginal field operator, Vestigo run a more economically viable project and reduce its carbon footprint at the Anjung Kecil field.

Local technology development and solutions provider NGLTech Sdn Bhd's Low Pressure - Condensate Recovery System (LP-CRS) was fitted on MISC Bhd's Marginal Marine Production Unit (MaMPU 1) to increase oil production via recovery from unwanted flaring gas. Combined with NGLTech's Sep-iSYSTM solution, this enables the production of an additional 50 barrels of oil per one million sq cu ft of flared gas.

At the same time, these technologies from NGLTech have also reduced CO2 emissions by 25% to 30% on daily flaring rates, resulting in a lower carbon footprint for gas emissions from this project. It was also the first time these technologies were being used on MISC's floating asset.

NGLTech's LP-CRS has been announced as a winner of the OTC Asia 2018 Spotlight on New Technology Small Business Award.

Enabling cost-effective recovery of reserves from maturing fields

The need to keep costs low continues to spur innovations at mature oilfields. Malaysian OGSE player, Uzma Bhd developed uzmaPRES, a module that revives low pressure idle wells by reducing the surface system pressure down to atmospheric pressure.

The technology, which is currently used in nine matured oilfields in Malaysia, is able to activate idle wells back without intervention, making it a safer and more economically viable option. Although conventional enhanced oil recovery techniques tend to have higher recovery factor, these are not economically viable in the low oil price environment.

Reducing non-productive time for drilling activities

It is key for operators to manage non-productive time as part of managing rig rental costs. Recognising this challenge, MIT Innovation Sdn Bhd co-developed and commercialised the Intelligent Circulation While Drilling tool (iCWD) with PETRONAS. The tool enables the driller to treat losses, place cement plugs or improve hole-cleaning without pulling out, thereby saving expensive rig time through the deployment of smart electronics and sensors.

MIT Innovation won the OTC Asia Spotlight on New Technology - Small Business Award in 2016 for its iCWD technology and achieved profitability within one year of commercialising the product.

Growing local tech companies

NGLTech, Uzma and MIT Innovation's capabilities demonstrate that local OGSE companies are ready for bigger opportunities," MPRC's President and Chief Executive Officer Datuk Shahrol Halmi said.

"These companies were able to stay ahead of the curve and continued to innovate even during the downturn. Some of them are already pursuing opportunities beyond the domestic market," he added.

MPRC, the industry development agency that is responsible for promoting Malaysia as a regional OGSE hub is working with several more companies to encourage similar growth models. The agency is also facilitating international forays for companies that are ready to export their services.

Accelerating local technology development

MPRC introduced the Oil and Gas Innovation and Technology Collaboration (OGITeC) platform two years ago to accelerate technology development in Malaysia.

OGITeC brings together operators, solutions providers and technology enablers such as investors, financiers, markets and the R&D community to improve the chances of success for technology companies.

"MPRC is therefore seeking collaborations with international and local parties who are interested to be a part of this network," Shahrol said.

MPRC also seeks to increase linkages with markets that can benefit from working with Malaysian tech companies, he added.

Head over to MPRC's booth #S401 during OTC Asia 2018 in Kuala Lumpur to learn more about partnering with local technology companies or to exploring OGSE opportunities in this region.

If you would like to join MPRC's OGITeC Network, please register at