(Adds output figures, background)
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Malaysia’s gas exports have been severely impacted since the second quarter of the year due to a supply disruption at a gas field in the eastern state of Sabah, the finance minister said on Friday.
“Major repairs and assessment works are still ongoing and production is only expected to return to full capacity by the middle of next year (at) the latest,” Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said in a statement.
The supply disruption has affected the country’s economic growth and petroleum income tax revenue received by the government, he said.
Malaysia is the world’s third-biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and state energy company Petronas is a significant contributor to the state coffers.
Reuters reported in August that Malaysia’s exports of LNG fell to a four-year low in July as domestic gas pipeline issues since January took their toll.
Recent trade data shows Malaysia’s third-quarter LNG exports totalled 8.7 billion ringgit ($2.08 billion) in value, down about 21 percent from the same period last year.
Earlier on Friday, Malaysia said its economy grew at its slowest in two years in the July-September quarter as the country grappled with weak external demand, and what the central bank called “supply shocks” for LNG and palm oil.
The central bank governor, though, added that the supply shocks have bottomed.
Minister Lim said the disruption was from a production breakdown in Kebabangan gas field in Sabah.
Natural gas production in the second quarter totalled 553,264 million standard cubic feet, down 10 percent from the first quarter. Third quarter output fell another 3 percent quarter on quarter, Lim said.
$1 = 4.1900 ringgit Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Tom Hogue