Thailand’s top oil and gas explorer, PTT Exploration and Production Pcl (PTTEP), expects to divest some of its stake in its M11 petroleum field in Myanmar in February, its top executive said.
“We are looking to find two partners to come in for investment in M11 but, that being said, we will still have to hold a 40-50 percent stake and be a major shareholder,” Chief Executive Anon Sirisaengtaksin told reporters.
PTTEP is seeking partnership through asset divestment as it plans to synergise business opportunities and reduce investment risk, he said.
PTTEP, a subsidiary of state-controlled PTT Pcl, Thailand’s biggest energy firm, has a total of 41 projects in 13 countries, of which 20 are under production, two under development and 19 under exploration.
In Myanmar alone, it has four exploration and production (E&P) projects including Yadana, Yetagun, Zawtika and Block M3, M7 and M11 – where it holds 100 percent participation interest.
Anon said PTTEP would be able to sign contracts for two petroleum fields in Myanmar in February.
PTTEP would start operating its Montara oil field in Australia by the third quarter and targets to produce 35,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day before rising further later on, Anon said.
PTTEP’s operations in the Montara oil field off the Australian coast were halted after an oil spill and fire in late 2009. The company has delayed the start-up several times.
Anon said the company needs time to ensure it can meet safety requirements.
Last week, the company said it had earmarked about $19.6 billion for investment through 2016, excluding investment expenditure to support new venture opportunities.
PTTEP also aimed to make a decision in the first half of 2012 to acquire a stake in a new liquefied natural gas project in Australia, Anon said.
“We will do this with PTT. Once they find something they’re interested in, PTTEP will participate in stake holding,” Anon said, adding the move is part of its strategy to grow from merger and acquisition deals.
By 0426 GMT, PTTEP shares were down 0.6 percent at 176 baht while the main Thai index was 0.5 percent higher. -By Pisit Changplayngam