A final and crucial factor in the creation of PETRONAS, and its continuation in much the same form since, has been the political stability of Malaysia.
Since the restoration of parliament in 1971, the country has been ruled by the National Front (Barisan Nasional), the heirs to the Alliance Party which had been dominant from 1957 to 1969 and the originators in 1971 of the New Economic Policy, which was designed to improve the economic position of Bumiputras—native Malays and other natives in Sabah and Sarawak—relative to Chinese and Indian Malaysians and to foreign corporations.
Petronas is ranked among Fortune Global 500's largest corporations in the world.
Fortune ranks Petronas as the 75th largest company in the world in 2013.
On 26 February 2015, Petronas cut its 2015 capital expenditures budget after reporting a $2 billion fourth quarter loss, the company’s first loss since it began reporting quarterly results five years ago.
PETRONAS was not the first company to extract oil or gas in Malaysia.
The local geography included a combination of broad basins of sedimentary rock with calm and shallow waters around the Sunda Shelf, making exploration for gas and oil relatively easier and more successful than in most areas of the world.