Malaysia's Petronas says to focus on raising domestic output
KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), Malaysia's state oil firm, will focus this year on increasing domestic production after posting a 45 per cent year-on-year drop in fourth quarter net profit.
That fall was a result of higher operating costs and impairment losses on property, plant and equipment, the company said on Thursday, while lower crude oil trading volume and a local currency which has strengthened versus the dollar trimmed revenue.
Unlisted Petronas finances nearly half of Malaysia's government budget and tension is growing between the firm and the state.
The company wants to link its government payments to profit rather than pay its current flat fee and to use more of its income for investment in production. For Prime Minister Najib Razak, who must call an election by April, a much smaller contribution would mean unpopular choices of higher taxes or lower spending.