PTT Exploration & Production Plc expects its petroleum sales in 2011 may miss earlier targets, as the resumption of its Montara project off the northwest coast of Australia may be delayed until the first quarter of next year.
CEO Anon Sirisaengtaksin said sales this year may be lower than 273,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed), as Montara would account for 35,000 barrels and was not likely to be producing in early December as planned.
The company’s average oil and gas output in the first quarter this year also missed the target of 271,292 boed, a slight drop from 272,198 boed in the fourth quarter of last year.
In an attempt to offset lower output, the company plans to pump more crude from its Sirikit oil block in Sukhothai province, and to start producing gas from its South Bongkot field in the Gulf of Thailand in early 2012 instead of mid-2012 under the former schedule.
South Bongkot is expected initially to produce 320 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of natural gas. Rig construction is nearly completed and it is expected to be installed in the sea by the middle of this year.
“We will pump more oil and gas from wells that are still underutilised in line with higher oil prices,” said Mr Anon.
In the Sirikit block, PTTEP plans to pump 25,000 barrels per day, up from 22,000 currently.
Despite lower production, Mr Anon said the company’s sales in the second quarter were unlikely to be affected as gas prices were expected to increase in line with oil prices.
Gas currently represents 70% of the company’s production and oil for the rest.
“This could offset lower petroleum sales, as we expect the gas price will rise significantly from the second quarter,” he said.
Increases in natural gas prices historically trail those of crude oil by up to six months.
PTTEP forecasts sales volume next year will rise by 16% to 319,000 boed because it will have new production from its oil sands project in Canada, (20,000 bpd), Vietnam 16-1 (40,000 bpd) and Montara (35,000 bpd).The company plans to spend US$17 billion on exploration and production between 2011 and 2015.
PTTEP shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 178.50 baht, down 2.50 baht, in trade worth 1.21 billion.