PTTEP sells interest in another Myanmar onshore block

A subsidiary of Thailand’s state owned PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) has sold a 10 percent holding in another Myanmar onshore block, as international oil prices touch as near-seven-year low, the company said yesterday.

PTTEP South Asia sold its 10pc interest in onshore block MOGE-3 to Japanese Mitsui Oil Exploration (MOECO), the same company that bought a 10pc stake in PTTEP’s Myanmar onshore blocks PSC-G and EP-2 last April according to a company notice posted on the Stock Exchange of Thailand yesterday.

The transaction has been approved by Myanmar authorities.

The 1217 square kilometre block located in Magwe Region is now 75pc owned by PTTEP SA, 10pc by Thailand’s Palang Sophon Offshore, 10pc by MOECO and 5pc by local partner Win Precious Resources, the notice said.

“The divestiture is part of PTTEP’s strategy in portfolio management aiming to add value and manage risk,” Somporn Vongvuthipornchai, chief executive officer of the company said in the notice.

PTTEP SA was awarded the right to exploration and production of oil and gas in MOGE-3 in the government’s second onshore bidding round, in 2013. The Thai state-owned energy giant has adjusted its five-year investment plan to cope with fluctuations in the international oil price, which has fallen by more than 60pc since mid-2014.

The company’s capital and operating expenditure will be around US$24.3 billion over this period – overall investment for 2015 alone is $4.8 billion. Around 52pc of this will go toward projects in Thailand and 20pc to projects elsewhere in Southeast Asia, mostly in Myanmar, a spokesperson for the company said earlier this year.

The company’s global investment was $10 billion in 2014 with more than $1 billion invested in Myanmar.

PTTEP is also the operator of the Zawtika offshore project which started production last year, and a number of other offshore and onshore blocks.

Thailand’s largest oil company failed to start exploration activities in Myanmar offshore last year due to the impact of the falling international crude oil prices. From a peak of $114.81 a barrel in mid-2014, the price of benchmark Brent North Sea crude oil had fallen to a near-seven-year low of $36.80 a barrel yesterday, according to Bloomberg data.

Profits at PTTEP dropped 31pc in the first quarter of 2015 due to falling global oil prices, the company reported at the end of April.

An official from Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) told The Myanmar Times in September, “PTTEP has delayed the development phase of block M-3 which needs to be studied in detail. The company also requested an extension for block M-11, MD-7 and MD-8 to evaluate hydrocarbon prospects.”

PTTEP plans to shoot 3D surveys in offshore blocks M-3, M-11, MD-7 and MD-8 in 2015-2016. The company has been in Myanmar for 25 years, operating a number of oil and gas projects.

Source: Myanmar Times

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