Petronas president and CEO Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin

Petronas appoints new president and CEO

KUALA LUMPUR, February 10, 2015 – On Monday, government-owned oil and gas company Petronas announced it had appointed Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin as president and CEO. Wan Zulkiflee follows in the footsteps of Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas, who will step down on March 31.


The change in leadership at Petronas comes at a tempestuous time for Malaysia, which is feeling the pinch of lower oil prices, 22 percent of the country’s exports are oil and natural gas products. The government derives around 30 percent of its annual revenue – some $63 billion – from oil and gas related activity.

According to Moody’s investment Service’s vice-president in Singapore Vikas Halan, Petronas will not be able to generate sufficient revenue in 2015 to make good on dividend commitments and to cover capital spending, saying the company will be around $2.8 billion short.

Nurul Izzah Anwar, an opposition lawmaker speaking to Bloomberg, said that Malaysia ought to have taken Norway as an example when oil prices where high, pointing to the Scandinavian country’s wealth fund. She also stressed the need to amend Malaysia’s Petroleum Development Act of 1974 in order to make Petronas accountable to Parliament. “Petronas is currently under direct purview of the prime minister,” Nurul Izzah commented.

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