KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's national oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) expects oil prices to be lower in the long term, state news agency Bernama reported on Saturday, citing the energy major's chief executive.

"We believe that the price is very fragile and artificial," Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz was quoted as saying in an interview. "We believe that oil prices will be lower than before in the long run.

Petronas is planning for projects to be viable at $40 per barrel for the next few years, he said. Brent crude futures were priced at $62.91 per barrel as of Friday.

Oil prices will be affected by the speed of the global coronavirus vaccine rollout, Tengku Muhammad Taufik said.

The CEO said the Malaysian government, Petronas' sole shareholder, was in talks with Sabah over the eastern state's demand for more rights over its energy resources, including a sales tax on oil and gas revenue.

Petronas has not yet been invited to the talks, he said.

Last year, Petronas agreed to similar demands from the Sarawak state - a move that some analysts have said could hurt its financials. 


(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by William Mallard) ((ananthalakshmi.as@thomsonreuters.com; Twitter: @AnanthalakshmiA;))