Inside Sarawak

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Miri - History

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Miri was once a petrolem town and now ......

In 1970, the discovery of offshore oil became the catalyst for development in Miri bringing people, technology, prosperity and progress to Miri with star-grade hotels, shopping malls, industrial zones and housing projects sprouting along the new highway and within the new infrastructure.

It was believed that the first discovery of oil in Malaysia was in fact made in July 1882 by the British Resident of the Baram District in Sarawak and it was used by local residents for lighting lamps and waterproofing boats. However, in 1910 when the Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Company(Later known as  Sarawak Shell), which had the sole right to explore petroleum in Sarawak, struck oil in the town of Miri, it marked the beginning of commercial exploitation of petroleum. This prompted the company to make several attempts to discover offshore oil field but with poor drilling test results which could not justify further activities.

With the new improved offshore petroleum technology, the company in 1954 made the first marine seismic survey in nearby seas. In 1962, oil found in two areas offshore Sarawak and other discovery followed in rapid succession.

Nevertheless, in midst of 1980, oil development began to decline as development moved from the onshore wells to offshore facilities. With the change of phase of development of petroleum, Miri began developing its tourism and service industry.

 

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