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Oil and gas still worth investing in

KUCHING: Despite the rise of many other energy sources, Serba Dinamik Holdings Berhad (SDHB) group chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ir Mohd Abdul Karim Abdullah is of the view that the oil and gas (O&G) industry will continue to be a viable industry over the next few decades.

“I often say that O&G will still be the main source of energy regardless of the emergence of many other energy sources,” he said on the Money Matters programme hosted by Zahir Kelvin Ong Abdullah on TV3 yesterday.

He noted that there were certainly arguments highlighting the issue of depleting resources, but countered that data had shown that numerous countries still had sufficient O&G reserves.

On the slump facing the O&G industry of late due to the Covid-19 pandemic and drop in demand, he was of the view that this was just an interim effect.

“It goes back to supply and demand theory; as supply increases and demand reduces, there will be some price volatility. Let us see how this develops as we move forward in the next few months.

“As a player who has been in the industry for more than 27 years, I am still optimistic and I still believe that this is an industry worth looking at and investing in,” asserted Mohd Abdul Karim.

On SDHB’s recent RM1.47 billion contract from Future Digital Data Systems LLC (FDDS) in Abu Dhabi to build a data centre there, he explained that securing such projects over other competitors was very much about providing an innovative package to the customer as well as evidence of work done. He said that together with the data centre, and with numerous other elements which will follow later on, referring to innovation hub components such as a digital theme park and animated theme park.

He emphasised on taking a proactive approach and having confidence in oneself, daring to move forward and voice one’s ideas and opinions.

“It has to come together with a strategic plan and approach on how to win the heart of our customer. What we did was proof of concept — evidence of what you say is very important,” he said.

Mohd Abdul Karim explained that before being awarded the contract and long before the Covid-19 pandemic, SDHB had brought the client into their operations in Malaysia to show them their completed projects and the concepts behind them.

“They were very impressed. With that, it put us ahead of our competitors who were bidding for the job as well,” he said.

During the interview, he said that both O&G and technology were vital sectors and should be equally prioritised. In saying this, he pointed out that Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) was one of the major contributors to the nation’s growth to what it is today.

When commenting on news of Petronas — which recently reported a loss after tax of RM21 billion — saying that dividend payout to the government this year would be dependent on whether the company could afford it, he noted that Petronas had been making billions in years prior and said it was a very strong entity in terms of its reserves.

“I believe Petronas is a very responsible company with a strong commitment to assist the nation to be stable andreputable,” he said.