Petronas has discovered a huge tract of oil reserves that could significantly reduce oil prices, claimed former Petronas chairman Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
“I was told it is the biggest oil field this part of the world, and enough to depress oil prices,’’ he told a forum titled “Oil Royalty: A Constitutional Right?” yesterday.
The forum was organised by the Bar Council to discuss the constitutional aspects of the oil royalty payment.
Razaleigh said it was the prerogative of the Prime Minister to give Petronas the green light to start extracting oil from the newly-discovered field.
He hoped part of the earnings would be channelled to a national heritage trust fund for the future generation and that Petronas would manage the resources well.
“We hope there is no ‘leakage’, and the money goes back to the people,’’ he added.
Razaleigh also hoped misunderstandings over the law pertaining to oil royalty payment to Kelantan would be resolved soon, adding the Government should be advised properly.
Meanwhile, another panellist, Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, said parts of the Petroleum Development Act were unconstitutional.
“For example, if oil is found inland, it is unconstitutional for the federal government to stake claim on it. But according to the Act, it gets 5%, which is unconstitutional,” he said.