Although earnings at PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) halved in the first six months of the year, the Thai oil company will continue to focus on its key major investments, which includes gas fields in Myanmar as well as Thailand, Malaysia and the Middle East, Mr Phongsthorn Thavisin, President and CEO of the company, said in an August 12 statement.
Tension between major oil producing countries together with the outbreak of COVID-19 have led to violate oil prices this years, with prices dropping into the negative territory for the first time. Oil companies around the world, including PTTEP, have suffered as a result.
For the first half of the year, the company generated total revenues of US$2.8 billion, which is down 7 percent from the same period in 2019. This was despite the average sales volume of 345,207 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOED) increasing by 6 pc over the same period as a result of the acquisition of Murphy Oil Corporation’s business in Malaysia and Partex Holding B.V.
As a result, PTTEP reported earnings totaling US$409 million in the first half of 2020, down 50pc from the previous year.
The company has slashed its planned expenditure for the year by up to 20pc, by reducing some operating expenditures and deferring certain exploration activities at some projects.
Nevertheless, PTTEP’s investment plans in Myanmar remain intact, said Mr. Phongsthorn. He said the company will focus on “reducing unit costs to be resilient to oil price volatility while sustaining operating cash flow to support investments in exploration and production projects as well as business acquisitions.”
“Our focused areas for investments remain in Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia and the Middle East. The company expects the average production growth rate to be at 5pc and aims to maintain a reserves to production ration of seven years,” Mr.Phondsthorn stated.
PTTEP is the operator of the Zawtika natural gas project in Myanmar, which includes the Zawtika, Kakonna and Gawthaka gas fields located in blocks M9 and M11 of the Gulf of Martaban, offshore of Myanmar.
PTTEP owns an 80pc interest in the project, while Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise holds the remaining 20pc. Natural gas was first produced from Zawtika’s M9 Block in 2014 and it is 30-year project.
Myanmar currently exports 245 cubic feet of natural gas to Thailand and delivers 100 cubic feet for domestic use daily from the Zawtika project.
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