Tuesday April 4, 2006
Miri hub benefits other industries, too
By STEPHEN THEN
MIRI: Oil workers in this city employed by Shell spent more than RM24mil on airfares annually to fly from here to the rest of the world.
This massive spending power is a demonstration of the financial clout of those employed in the ever-increasingly lucrative oil and gas business in the local and global arena.
Sarawak Assistant Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister Lee Kim Shin said the latest figures showed that Shell employees spent more than RM2mil every month on air tickets.
The RM2mil every month is from Shell employees alone. This amount does not include that spent by those hired by Petronas and foreign contractors and sub-contractors based here and working for these two oil giants.
Miri is the regional hub and headquarters for Shells Asia-Pacific zone. That is why there is a massive movement of Shell staff and contractors from the companys centre here to the rest of the world, particularly to Europe, Far East countries and the rest of Asia, Africa and the Americas.
There are many expatriate families living and working here and they fly regularly to their home countries. We have foreigners from New Zealand to the United States and Canada here, he told The Star yesterday.
Apart from Shell and Petronas, foreign oil contractors and sub-contractors like Nippon Oil also have branch offices in this city.
Lee said most of them fly from here and via KLIA to their home countries, and the rest via Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.
He said the hotel and food industries in places like Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu also benefit tremendously from the spin-offs created by these high-flying oil workers from Miri.