Malaysian Tapis Blend 44°

6 06 2008

No, this is not the name of the latest blend of coffee one might find in Starbucks or Coffeebean & Tealeaf. The name Tapis Blend 44° refers to the type of crude oil that Petronas produces from its Malaysian oil fields. If I was running a kopitiam, I would name one of my coffees Tapis Blend 44°. It does sound catchy, doesn’t it? And just for the fun of it, I would offer it for Rm 1.92 per litre (sold in a pot of course) during happy hours. Ok, back to the crude oil Petronas is producing.

I have long known it for a fact that Malaysia produces one of the best quality crude oil in the world. But just how much better is it? If you went to the link I provided, you would soon notice that Malaysian Tapis Blend 44° is the most expensive blend of crude oil there is on the open market! For example, on the 30th of May 2008, Tapis Blend 44° was trading at USD 138.43 a barrel, while the next most expensive blend, the Australian Gippsland 42° was only USD 136.91 per barrel. The cheapest is consistently the Mexican Maya 22° which was traded at USD 107.34 on the same day. The world’s largest oil producing nation, Saudi Arabia, produces 3 types of crude, Arabian heavy, medium heavy and light. Arabian Heavy was on the same day priced at USD 121.28.

So you see, not only is Malaysia blessed with black gold, but she is blessed with the BEST kind in the world as evidenced by it’s price on the world market. Petronas could and in fact does sell most of its Tapis Blend 44° and in turn purchase cheaper blends of crude oil for as much as USD30 less in the case of the Maya 22° or USD17 in the case of the Arabian Heavy 27°.

The reason Tapis Blend 44° is so expensive is the fact that it contains very little impurities, the worst of which is Sulphur. The combustion of fossil fuels such as diesel, petrol and coal produces sulphur dioxide and releases it into the atmosphere which when reacts with water produces sulphuric acid, the main component of acid rain.

What is the point I am trying to make here you ask? Well, it’s just to point out just how lucky Malaysia really is. By God’s will, or as some would like to believe “a stroke of luck”, Malaysia sits on the very best deposit of crude oil there is in the world! It is time we demanded to know how profits from its sale are being used. This is a resource that belongs to every Malaysian, the government is only there to manage it. But it seems that this is not being done in the most appropriate and responsible manner. And no, I am not against the recent increase in fuel prices. In fact I support it. I believe that in the long run it will promote a more prudent use of fuel and energy. And if we are to demand the better management of this resource and its profits, Malaysian’s must also learn to use it in a similarly responsible way, for the day will come when it will run out.




One response

8 06 2008

Don’t you think that the oil belongs to each and every malaysian? Then why are they charging us for what we own? They should charge us the processing fee and their overhead only and if they want, tax. Petrol will cost way less. I don’t understand how they can sell our oil at higher prices and buy other oil at lower prices and still need to charge us malaysian at “market price”.

But to look on the bright side of things, it may teach malaysians to reduce fuel consumption and change their lifestyles.

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