|Industry Oil and gas|
Services Shipping services
Owner Government of Malaysia
Founded 17 August 1974
|Area served Worldwide|
Headquarters Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Founder Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah
|Type Government-owned corporation|
Key people Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin (President & Group CEO) Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan (Chairman)
Products Petroleum, natural gas, petrochemicals
CEO Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin (1 Apr 2015–)
Motto "Reimagining Energy" (2012–)
Subsidiaries Universiti Teknologi Petronas, MISC Berhad
Petronas upstream business
PETRONAS, short for Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Malaysian National Oil Company Inc.), is a Malaysian oil and gas company that was founded on 17 August 1974. Wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia, the corporation is vested with the entire oil and gas resources in Malaysia and is entrusted with the responsibility of developing and adding value to these resources. Petronas is ranked among Fortune Global 500's largest corporations in the world. Fortune ranks Petronas as the 75th largest company in the world in 2013. Fortune also ranks Petronas as the 12th most profitable company in the world and the most profitable in Asia.
- Petronas upstream business
- Behind the story petronas staying the course
- Setting up a state oil and gas company 1970s
- Battling oil depletion the late 1980s
- Expanding globally the 1990s and beyond
- Logo concept
- Refreshed logo
- PETRONAS Dagangan Berhad
- PETRONAS Gas Berhad
- MISC Berhad
- KLCC Properties Berhad
- PETRONAS Chemicals
- Malaysian Marine and Heavy Engineering
- Other principal subsidiaries
Since its incorporation, Petronas has grown to be an integrated international oil and gas company with business interests in 35 countries. As of the end of March 2005, the Petronas Group comprised 103 wholly owned subsidiaries, 19 partly owned outfits and 57 associated companies. Together, these companies make the Petronas Group, which is involved in various oil and gas based activities. The Financial Times has identified PETRONAS as one of the "new seven sisters": the most influential and mainly state-owned national oil and gas companies from countries outside the OECD.
The group is engaged in a wide spectrum of petroleum activities, including upstream exploration and production of oil and gas to downstream oil refining; marketing and distribution of petroleum products; trading; gas processing and liquefaction; gas transmission pipeline network operations; marketing of liquefied natural gas; petrochemical manufacturing and marketing; shipping; automotive engineering; and property investment.
PETRONAS provides a substantial source of income for the Malaysian government, with 45% of the government's budget dependent on PETRONAS' dividend, moreover in 2011 government actual balance has 5 percent deficit of Gross Domestic Product.
The company is headquartered at the Petronas Towers which was officially opened on Malaysia's 42nd National Day, 31 August 1998 – in the corporation's 24th Anniversary year.
Behind the story petronas staying the course
PETRONAS was not the first company to extract oil or gas in Malaysia. It was Royal Dutch Shell that began the oil exploration in Sarawak, then under the White Rajahs, at the end of the 19th century. In 1910, the first oil well was drilled in Miri, Sarawak. This became the first oil producing well known as the Grand Old Lady. Shell was still the only oil company in the area in 1963, when the Federation of Malaya, having achieved independence from Britain six years before, united with Sarawak and Sabah, both on the island of Borneo, and became Malaysia. The authorities in the two new states retained their links with Royal Dutch Shell, which brought Malaysia's first offshore oil field onstream in 1968.
Meanwhile, the federal government turned to Esso, Continental Oil, and Mobil, licensing exploration off the state of Terengganu, in the Malay Peninsula, the most populous region and the focus of federal power. By 1974, however, only Esso was still in the area. It made its first discoveries of natural gas in that year and then rapidly made Terengganu a bigger producer of oil than either Sarawak or Sabah. By 1974, Malaysia's output of crude oil stood at about 81,000 barrels per day (12,900 m3/d).
Setting up a state oil and gas company: 1970s
Several factors converged in the early 1970s to prompt the Malaysian government into setting up a state oil and gas company, as first proposed in its Five Year Plan published in 1971. Former Chief Minister of Sarawak, Tun Abdul Rahman Ya'kub was one of the people who proposed the idea of Malaysia setting up their own oil company. These were years in which power in the world oil industry began to shift away from the majors, which then controlled more than 90% of the oil trade, toward the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), as well as a proliferation of new private and state companies joining in the search for reserves. By 1985, the majors, reduced in number from seven to five, were producing less than 20% of the world total. It seemed that Malaysia would either have to join the trend or continue to leave its oil and gas entirely to Royal Dutch/Shell and Esso, multinational corporations necessarily attuned to the requirements of their directors and shareholders, rather than to the priorities the government of a developing country might seek to realise.
Further, an agreement between Malaysia and Indonesia, signed in 1969, had settled doubts and disputes about each country's claims over territorial waters and offshore resources at a time when both were heavily indebted to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) governments and banks as well as to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Setting up a state oil and gas company, through which the government could get international capital but avoid tangling with foreign oil companies or governments, had worked for Indonesia: why not for Malaysia as well? The oil crisis of 1973–74 made the government even more aware of Malaysia's dependence on foreign oil and foreign capital in general.
Another factor in the decision was that the technology had recently been developed for extensive exploration and drilling offshore. The local geography included a combination of broad basins of sedimentary rock with calm and shallow waters around the Sunda Shelf, making exploration for gas and oil relatively easier and more successful than in most areas of the world. Malaysian crude turned out to be mostly high quality with low sulphur content.
A final and crucial factor in the creation of PETRONAS, and its continuation in much the same form since, has been the political stability of Malaysia. Since the restoration of parliament in 1971, the country has been ruled by the National Front (Barisan Nasional), the heirs to the Alliance Party which had been dominant from 1957 to 1969 and the originators in 1971 of the New Economic Policy, which was designed to improve the economic position of Bumiputras—native Malays and other natives in Sabah and Sarawak—relative to Chinese and Indian Malaysians and to foreign corporations. The difficulties this policy has caused for foreign companies and investors are outweighed by the benefits they believe they gain from Malaysia's political stability.
The Malaysian government chose to create a state company, rather than using taxes, production limits, leasing, or other familiar instruments of supervision. The government wanted, and needed, the co-operation of the majors but also sought to assert national rights over the use of the country's resources. A state company, having both supervisory powers over the majors and production activities of its own, was a workable compromise between allowing the majors full rein and excluding them, along with their capital and expertise, altogether.
PETRONAS was established in August 1974 and operates under the terms of the Petroleum Development Act passed in October 1974. It was modelled on Pertamina, the Indonesian state oil and gas company founded in 1971 in succession to Permina, which had been set up in 1958. According to the 1971 plan, PETRONAS' goals would be to safeguard national sovereignty over oil and gas reserves, to plan for both present and future national need for oil and gas, to take part in distributing and marketing petroleum and petrochemical products at reasonable prices, to encourage provision of plant, equipment, and services by Malaysian companies, to produce nitrogenous fertilisers, and to spread the benefits of the petroleum industry throughout the nation.
On 6 September 1974, Malaysia's then prime minister, Tun Abdul Razak, announced the appointment of Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah as chairman and chief executive of PETRONAS. Tun Razak said: "From among the new blood, I intended to bring Tengku Razaleigh into the Cabinet. However, I have an important job for him, a job as important as that of a Cabinet Minister. I have decided to appoint him as chairman and chief executive of PETRONAS, which is equivalent to being a Cabinet Minister.". Subsequently, Razaleigh had to relinquish his job as Chairman of PERNAS which he held from 1970, but retained the chairmanship of Bank Bumiputra.
Having created PETRONAS, the government had to choose what forms its dealings with private oil companies would take. Starting with its legal monopoly on oil and gas activities and resources, it had several options: it could simply award concessions without taking part in production, management, or profits; it could try offering services at the supply end; or it could make contracts to cover profit-sharing, production-sharing, joint ventures—sharing both profits and costs—or all stages of the process, under "carried-interest" contracts. PETRONAS' first move was to negotiate the replacement of the leases granted to Royal Dutch/Shell on Borneo and to Esso in the Peninsula with production-sharing contracts, which have been the favoured instrument, alongside joint ventures, ever since. These first contracts came into effect in 1976. Allowing for royalties to both federal and state governments, and for cost recovery arrangements, they laid down that the remainder would go 70% to PETRONAS and 30% to the foreign company. Esso began oil production in two offshore fields in 1978, exporting its share of the supply, unlike PETRONAS, whose share was consumed within the country.
PETRONAS went downstream for the first time in 1976, when it was chosen by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to begin construction on the second ASEAN joint industrial project, a urea plant. The subsidiary, Asean Bintulu Fertiliser (ABF), is based in Sarawak and now exports ammonia and urea all over the world.
Also in 1976, Malaysia became a net exporter of oil, but exports were at such a low level as to make the country ineligible to join OPEC. This situation benefited Malaysia, and PETRONAS, by allowing the company a degree of commercial and political flexibility and reinforcing PETRONAS' chief purpose, Malaysian self-reliance.
PETRONAS supervised its foreign partners' oil activities, taking no direct role in production until 1978, when the government saw to the creation of a subsidiary for oil exploration and production, PETRONAS Carigali. It began its work in an oil field off the Peninsula. PETRONAS retained its supervisory powers over all oil and gas ventures, particularly on issues of health and safety and environmental control.
Battling oil depletion: the late 1980s
Fortunately for Malaysia, exploration was by no means at an end and could yet produce more reserves. The Seligi field, which came onstream at the end of 1988 and was developed by Esso Production Malaysia, was one of the richest oilfields so far found in Malaysia waters, and further concessions to the majors would encourage exploration of the deeper waters around Malaysia, where unknown reserves could be discovered. Meanwhile, computerised seismography made it both feasible and commercially justifiable to re-explore fields which had been abandoned, or were assumed to be unproductive, over the past century. In 1990, PETRONAS invited foreign companies to re-explore parts of the sea off Sabah and Sarawak on the basis of new surveys using up-to-date techniques.
Another way to postpone depletion was to develop sources of oil, and of its substitute, natural gas, outside Malaysia. Late in 1989, the governments of Vietnam and Myanmar (Burma) invited PETRONAS Carigali to take part in joint ventures to explore for oil in their coastal waters. In 1990, a new unit, PETRONAS Carigali Overseas Sdn Bhd, was created to take up a 15% interest in a field in Myanmar's waters being explored by Idemitsu Myanmar Oil Exploration Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of the Japanese firm Idemitsu Oil Development Co. Ltd., in a production sharing arrangement with Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise. Thus began PETRONAS' first oil exploration outside Malaysia. In May 1990, the governments of Malaysia and Thailand settled a long-running dispute over their respective rights to an area of 7,300 square kilometres in the Gulf of Thailand by setting up a joint administrative authority for the area and encouraging a joint oil exploration project by PETRONAS, the Petroleum Authority of Thailand, and the US company Triton Oil. In a separate deal, in October 1990, the Petroleum Authority of Thailand arranged with PETRONAS to study the feasibility of transferring natural gas from this jointly administered area, through Malaysia to Thailand, by way of an extension of the pipelines laid for the third stage of the Peninsular Gas Utilisation Project.
That project was on course to becoming a major element in the postponement of oil depletion. Contracts for line pipes for the second stage of the project were signed in 1989 with two consortia of Malaysian, Japanese, and Brazilian companies. This stage, completed in 1991, included the laying of 730 kilometres of pipeline through to the tip of the Peninsula, from where gas could be sold to Singapore and Thailand; the conversion of two power stations—Port Dickson and Pasir Gudang—from oil to gas; and the expansion of PETRONAS' output of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), propylene, and polypropylene, which were already being produced in joint ventures with Idemitsu Petrochemical Co. of Japan and Neste Oy of Finland. The third and final stage of the project was to lay pipelines along the northwest and northeast coastlines of the Peninsula and was completed in 1997.
Another new venture in 1990 was in ship-owning, since PETRONAS' existing arrangements with MISC and with Nigeria's state oil company would be inadequate to transport the additional exports of LNG due to start in 1994, under the contract with Saibu Gas. PETRONAS did not lose sight of the government's commitment to Malaysian self-reliance, and the company's second refinery at Malacca, completed in 1994, with a capacity of 100,000 barrels per day (16,000 m3/d), promoted the same policy. The fact that it was built in a joint venture with Samsung of Korea, the Chinese Petroleum Corporation of Taiwan, and Caltex of the United States did not negate the policy, for the subsidiary company PETRONAS Penapisan (Melaka) had a decisive 45% of equity while sharing the enormous costs of and gaining advanced technology for the project. More to the point, a side effect of the refinery's completion was that PETRONAS was able to refine all of the crude oil it produced, instead of being partially dependent on refining facilities in Singapore.
PETRONAS, with its policies of promoting self-reliance, helping to develop associated industries, and varying the sources and uses of oil and gas, played an important role in the Malaysian economy as a whole. Under governments which—by current, if not historical, Western standards—were strongly interventionist, the contribution of oil taxes to the federal government's revenue hovered at around 12% to 16% until 1980, when it showed a marked increase to 23%, followed by another leap to 32% in 1981. From then until 1988 the proportion fluctuated between 29% and 36%. PETRONAS was not just another big oil company: it controlled a crucial sector of the economy and remained, for better or worse, an indispensable instrument of the state.
Expanding globally: the 1990s and beyond
During the mid- to late 1990s, international exploration, development, and production remained key components in PETRONAS' strategy along with diversification. A key discovery was made in the Ruby field in Vietnam in 1994. That year, the firm also saw its first overseas production from the Dai Hung field in Vietnam and established its first retail station outside of Malaysia in Cambodia. In 1995, a subsidiary was created to import, store, and distribute liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). In addition, the company's polyethylene plant in Kerteh began operations. PETRONAS marked a significant milestone during this time period—two of its subsidiaries, PETRONAS Dagangan Bhd and PETRONAS Gas Bhd, went public on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. Between 1993 and 1996, it purchased the former sub-Saharaian branch of Mobil Oil, rebranded as Engen Petroleum.
In 1996, PETRONAS entered the aromatics market by way of a joint venture that created Aromatics Malaysia Sdn Bhd. It also formed a contract with China National Offshore Oil Corporation and Chevron Overseas Petroleum Ltd. to begin exploration of block 02/31 of the Liaodong Bay area in China. While the Asian economy as a whole suffered from an economic crisis during 1997 and 1998, Malaysia was quick to bounce back due to successful government reforms. From its new headquarters in the PETRONAS Twin Towers, the state-owned concern continued its development in the oil and gas industry. Soon India's Liberty Group purchased a 1% stake in Petronas
During 1997, PETRONAS heightened its diversification efforts. The firm set plans in motion to build three petrochemical plants in Kuantan as well as an acetic facility in Kerteh. Its first LPG joint venture in China was launched that year and the company acquired a 29.3% interest in Malaysia International Shipping Corporation Berhad (MISC). In 1998, PETRONAS' tanker-related subsidiary merged with MISC, increasing PETRONAS' stake in MISC to 62%. That year, PETRONAS introduced the Petronas E01, the country's first commercial prototype engine. The company also signed a total of five new production sharing contracts (PSCs) in 1998 and 1999, and began oil production in the Sirri field in Iran.
PETRONAS entered the new century determined to expand its international efforts. The company forged deals for two new exploration plots in Pakistan and began construction on the Chad-Cameroon Integrated Oil Development and Pipeline Project. By 2002, PETRONAS had signed seven new PSCs and secured stakes in eight exploration blocks in eight countries, including Gabon, Cameroon, Niger, Egypt, Yemen, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The firm also made considerable progress in its petrochemicals strategy, opening new gas-based petrochemical facilities in Kerteh and Gebeng.
By 2003, Malaysia was set to usurp Algeria as the world's second-largest producer of LNG with the completion of the Malaysia LNG Tiga Plant. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad commented on the achievement in a May 2003 Bernama News Agency article, claiming that "the PETRONAS LNG complex now serves as another shining example of a vision realized of a national aspiration, transformed into reality by the same belief among Malaysians that 'we can do it.'" Indeed, PETRONAS had transformed itself into a global oil company over the previous decade, becoming a national symbol for success. The company realised, however, that it would have to continue its aggressive growth strategy to insure its survival in the years to come.
The PETRONAS overseas expansion drive continues with the acquisition of Woodside Energy Ltd Mauritania assets for $418 million in 2007. The venture proved successful as they discovered oil in May 2008
In 2004, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Mustapa Mohamed, stated that PETRONAS contributed RM 25 Billion to the country's treasury accounting for 25% of revenue collected via dividends and other revenues. PETRONAS continuously provides the Malaysian government dividends from its profits. Since inception in 1974, PETRONAS have paid the government RM 403.3 billion, with RM 67.6 billion in 2008. The payment represents 44% of the 2008 federal government revenue. PETRONAS continues to focus on international exploration projects as 40% of revenue in 2008 was derived from international projects such as Iran, Sudan, Chad and Mauritania. The company's international reserves stood at 6.24 billion barrels oil equivalent in 2008.
On 29 October 2012, PETRONAS sources said it will renew a bid for gas producer Progress Energy Resources after Canada blocked its bid earlier that month. The $6-billion bid was approved by Ottawa on 7 December 2012.
On 17 January 2013, PETRONAS issued a statement that an onshore oil and gas discovery has been made in the state after drilling a test well about 20 kilometres away from the city of Miri in northern Sarawak. The well was found to have a net hydrocarbon thickness of 349 meters. It had flow rates of 440 barrels of crude oil per day and 11.5 million standard cubic feet of gas per day. The find is the first onshore oil discovery in Malaysia in 24 years.
On 2 May 2015, PETRONAS completed its acquisition of oil and gas assets in Azerbaijan from Norway’s Statoil for US$2.25 billion.
Plagued by the 2010s oil glut, Petronas reported on 26 February 2015 that it cut its 2015 capital expenditures budget after reporting a $2 billion fourth quarter loss, the company's first loss since it began reporting quarterly results five years ago.
Petronas' logo was created in 1974 by Dato Johan Ariff of Johan Design Associates. He is also responsible in creating the Logo of many Petronas subsidiaries, JVs, link-companies and properties, including Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), MISC, MMHE, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP), Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Putrajaya Holdings, Prince Court Medical Centre (PCMC), PETLIN, Malaysian Petroleum Club and Mesra Mall, to name a few.
The basic structure is geometric, embodying metaphoric and alpha glyphic nuances of an oil drop and a typography 'P', the latter being evident in the triangle assigned at the top right corner. The triangle is also an essential element to define directional movement and dynamic. The placement of a solid circle in the Logo is interpretive if the wheel of the oil and gas industry while outline of the drop simulates a driving system, the energy which to be derived from oil.
The corporate colour chosen for the logo is emerald green, an obvious reference to the sea from where oil and gas are drilled.
The corporate logotype, named "Alpha PETRONAS", is designed in uppercase exclusively for Petronas and its subsidiaries. Each alphabet is rendered with a rounded profile to assume fluidity and viscosity, while emphasising the oil based operation.
In 2013, Petronas introduced a refreshed version of its corporate logo at the 2013 Asia Oil and Gas Conference (AOGC 2013). A renewed "look and feel" has been incorporated to the original Petronas' oil drop logo to reflect the visual expression of Petronas' Group Positioning, reimagining energy™. The refreshed logo was part of a group-wide exercise to further strengthen the visual potential of Petronas' corporate icon by making it more contemporary while building on the existing equity and legacy of the Petronas brand.
In essence, the refreshed logo symbolises the growth and progression of the Petronas brand. Petronas was established during the oil and gas crisis in the early 1970s. Over the years it has focused on building its business and operational capabilities and continues to seek more efficient and better methods of managing and adding value to Malaysia's oil and gas resources and meet increasing energy demands. This challenging spirit has propelled Petronas from being a manager of Malaysia's hydrocarbon resources to become a fully integrated oil and gas multinational. The organisation was among the earliest national oil companies (NOC) to venture globally which has inspired many other NOCs to join the global oil and gas arena, changing the dynamics of today's oil and gas industry. PETRONAS will continue to play an active role in oil and gas by focusing on collective efforts to do things differently by challenging industry norms to achieve real sustainable long-term growth. Throughout its journey, Petronas has ensured that people benefit from its activities through business and employment opportunities, education sponsorship and quality products and services.
The refreshed version is Petronas' third generation logo. The original Petronas logo was developed in 1974 when Petronas was first incorporated. The basic structure comprises an oil drop feature and symbol "P” that conveys its core business in oil and gas, and dynamism of the company. At the centre of the oil drop is a solid circle that symbolises the complete cycle or value chain of the oil and gas industry. Meanwhile, the familiar Petronas emerald green represents the seas and land where oil and gas originates. The refreshed logo's softer curves have been added to the oil drop which depicts a continuous flow that symbolises Petronas' drive for progress and challenging spirit in meeting the energy demands and expectations of its stakeholders. The Petronas name has been repositioned below the oil drop and the font has been sharpened to enhance visibility and give prominence to the oil drop in the logo.
PETRONAS has more than 100 subsidiaries and around 40 Joint Venture companies in which PETRONAS has at least 50% stake in the company. Although PETRONAS is considering to listing more of its subsidiaries, so far the company has listed at least 3 of its subsidiaries in the Bursa Malaysia.
PETRONAS Dagangan Berhad
Involved in the distribution and sale of finished petroleum products and operations of service stations for the domestic market. The company has over 800 petrol stations around Malaysia as of July 2007 and further increase to 870 stations in January 2008
The company has also teamed up with local food and beverage companies, banks and transportation companies to provide better services at their petrol stations. Companies include McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Dunkin' Donuts, Konsortium Transnasional Berhad, Maybank, and CIMB Bank.
PETRONAS Gas Berhad
Involved in the provision of gas processing and transmission services to PETRONAS and its customers as a throughput company. Owns and operates the Peninsular Gas Pipeline which is 2,550 kilometres in length and runs from Kerteh in Terengganu to Johor Bahru in the South and Kangar in the North of Peninsular Malaysia.
Involved in ship-owning, ship-operating and other logistics and maritime transportation services and activities. Currently has the largest fleet of LNG transport vessels
KLCC Properties Berhad
Involved in the development and the management of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre project which includes the Petronas Twin Towers, Menara Exxon Mobil and KLCC Park. Other properties under its care include Dayabumi Complex which located near Dataran Merdeka.
The PETRONAS Chemicals is the latest company to be publicly listed. The IPO was done on 26 November 2010 with investor rise around US$4.40 billion, effectively becoming one of the largest IPO exercises in South East Asia.
The business is the largest petrochemical producer and seller in South East Asia. Products include olefins, polymers, fertilisers, methanol and other basic chemicals and derivative products.
Malaysian Marine and Heavy Engineering
MMHE was listing on 29 October 2010 with MYR 1 billion raised on its IPO exercise.
The business builds offshore structures for oil and gas applications, help repair large vessels and converts vessels into Floating production storage and offloading and FSOs.
Other principal subsidiaries
Some of the key subsidiaries are:-
Others include PETRONAS Assets Sdn Bhd; PETRONAS Maritime Services Sdn Bhd; PETRONAS Trading Corp. Sdn Bhd; PETRONAS Argentina S.A.; PETRONAS Australia Pty Ltd.; PETRONAS Thailand Co. Ltd.; PETRONAS Energy Philippines Inc.; PETRONAS Cambodia Co. Ltd.; PETRONAS Technical Services Sdn Bhd; PETRONAS Group Technical Solutions Sdn Bhd; PETRONAS South Africa Pty Ltd.; PETRONAS India Holdings Company Pte Ltd.; PETRONAS China Co. Ltd.; PETRONAS International Corp. Ltd.; PETRONAS Marketing Thailand Co. Ltd.; Myanmar PETRONAS Trading Co. Ltd.; PETRONAS Marketing (Netherlands) B.V. and Indianoil Petronas
PETRONAS was one of the main sponsors of the BMW Sauber Formula One team alongside Intel, and it supplies lubricants and fuel to the team. It also owned 40% of Sauber Petronas Engineering, the company that builds chassis which formerly used Ferrari designed engines used by the Sauber team, until being bought out by German motor company BMW. PETRONAS is also the main sponsor for Malaysian Grand Prix, and co-sponsors the Chinese Grand Prix. PETRONAS was the exclusive premium partner of the Sauber Petronas (1995–2005) and BMW Sauber F1 Team (2006–2009). BMW had acquired the controlling stake of the former Sauber Petronas Engineering, but left the sport after the 2009 season. On 21 December 2009, PETRONAS was confirmed as moving from BMW Sauber to the newly formed Mercedes Grand Prix team.
In terms of further Formula One involvement, every year PETRONAS took the BMW Sauber team to various parts of Malaysia for F1 demos so the public who are unable to go to the track itself get to experience a little bit of what F1 offers. Other promotional events are held in the run up to the race and the drivers play an integral part in this so much so that Nick Heidfeld conceded that there were more fans for BMW Sauber in Malaysia than in most other countries.
As part of its corporate social responsibility programme, PETRONAS also brings underprivileged children to watch the race.
PETRONAS also sponsors the Malaysian Cub Prix races. It also sponsors many other sporting events and teams, mostly motorsports. Some of these sponsorships includes the PERT (Petronas EON Rally Team), the now defunct Foggy Petronas Superbike team (in which PETRONAS debuts their own superbike, the FP1), and also the Petronas Adventure Team, a 4X4 adventure team. More recently Petronas was also a major sponsor for PETRONAS TOYOTA TEAM TOM'S which was participating in Super GT series, which they won the team title in 2008 and driver title in 2009. The series also raced in Malaysia every season at Sepang International Circuit between 2005 and 2013. PETRONAS signed a three-year sponsorship agreement with Fiat Yamaha motoGP team. The PETRONAS branding can be seen starting Qatar race on the 10 to 12 April 2009. Petronas also sponsors all Mercedes-AMG DTM cars since 2011 season for only providing the lubricants.
Since 2010, PETRONAS is also the main sponsor of Mercedes Grand Prix team. Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsports won F1 Constructors' Champion for the 3rd time consecutively on 2016 Formula One Season after the team won it previously on 2015 Formula One season and 2014 Formula One season.
PETRONAS awards education sponsorships in the form of convertible loans to Malaysian and international students to further their studies at local or foreign universities. The PETRONAS unit that is responsible for handling education matters is called the Sponsorship & Talent Sourcing Unit (STS). These sponsorships are awarded based on academic results, co-curricular activities, family background as well as an assessment of student personality (which is conducted throughout a program called EduCamp, which all prospective PETRONAS students are required to undergo). Students who are absorbed by PETRONAS at the end of their tertiary studies have their convertible loans converted into full scholarships. These students are under contract agreement to work for the company for two years for every one year they are sponsored. PETRONAS has its own university, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP). Built in 1997, the campus is located in Seri Iskandar, Perak.