This exploration achievement resulted from an intensified exploration program of drilling 25 wells in one year.

PETRONAS, Malaysia's leading energy company, unveiled a groundbreaking oil and gas exploration achievement. According to a recent press release, Malaysia has recorded an impressive discovery of over 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent in 2023. This significant milestone underscores the nation's commitment to harnessing its natural resources to meet the country's and region's growing energy demands and contribute to the global energy landscape. The discoveries include nineteen oil and gas exploration discoveries and two exploration-appraisal successes. This achievement resulted from an intensified exploration program, which pursued 25  wells, the highest number of exploration wells drilled in a single year in the country since 2015. 

During the same year, TGS and JV consortium partners PGS and SLB secured pre-funding to expand the 3D multi-client coverage in the Sarawak Basin. The expansion encompasses Sarawak Ph2 and Sarawak Ph3 projects. Subsequently, an additional reprocessing agreement was executed to expand coverage within the province (Image 1). The multi-client 3D survey is the third phase of a multi-year contract awarded by PETRONAS in August 2020 to acquire and process up to 105,000 square kilometers of multi-client 3D seismic data over a five-year period in the Sarawak Basin.

Furthermore, a separate reprocessing agreement was signed to extend multi-client 3D coverage over Peninsular Malaysia in collaboration with DUG.  PETRONAS Senior Vice President of Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM), Mohamed Firouz Asnan, mentions 3D seismic being a critical asset in the exploration successes in Malaysia’s basins: “This significant exploration success validates our belief that there is more potential within the so-called matured Malaysia’ basins, using new 3D seismic data and the latest software technology to better detect deeper hydrocarbon potentials”. Will Ashby, EVP of Eastern Hemisphere at TGS commented: “This multi-client reprocessing agreement in Sarawak will further strengthen our data footprint across Malaysia. This initiative demonstrates our commitment to providing comprehensive and high-quality data to the energy industry”.

Over half of the discoveries were made in the Sarawak Basin, primarily in two clusters within the Balingian and West Luconia geological provinces. Among the discoveries are Gedombak-1, Sinsing-1, Machinchang-1, and Mirdanga-1 by PETRONAS, in addition to Babadon-1 and Chenda-1 by Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP).

Three discoveries were made in the Northwest Sabah Basin including Layang-Layang-1 by PETRONAS and Hikmat-1 and Dermawan-1 by PTTEP proving a working petroleum system that in turn, provides new opportunities in the ultra-deepwater and deepwater areas. 

Lastly, two other discoveries were made within the Malay Basin. Hibiscus Oil & Gas Malaysia found gas in the Bunga Lavatera-1 well near the PM3 hub and brought it onstream with a flow rate of about 50 MMscfd. PTTEP found oil and gas in Simpoh Beludu-1, having penetrated the hydrocarbon-filled reservoir in the deeper Group K Sands (Table 1).

This remarkable achievement is a testament to PETRONAS' dedication to innovation and sustainable energy practices. As Malaysia strides towards a more diversified and resilient energy future, successful exploration discoveries serve as a beacon of progress, emphasizing the nation's role in shaping the trajectory of the global energy landscape.

To learn more about TGS Asia Pacific Seismic Coverage, visit the Multi-client seismic page or contact us at

Table 1.  Lists nineteen exploration discoveries and two exploration appraisal wells in Malaysia for 2023.
PSC: Production Sharing Contract.  Source:  Petronas


Image 1.  Map of Malaysian maritime waters displaying TGS 2D seismic lines and 3D seismic polygons (orange) and current Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) in yellow.