Thai Energy Firm PTTEP Expanding Midstream Investments

BANGKOK (Reuters) — Thai oil and gas giant PTT Exploration and Production Pcl on Tuesday said it plans to expand midstream investments to have new businesses account for 20% of its profits by 2030, with a focus on gas-to-power.

"We are not going to wait for the market but create the demand for our gas," chief executive Phongsthorn Thavisin told reporters.

Oil and gas exploration and production currently makes up all of its profits.

Other new sources of income could also be from its Artificial Intelligence technology arm, AI & Robotics Ventures (ARV), he said.

PTTEP, the upstream arm of state-owned PTT Pcl, received approval from Myanmar's former government in December for a $2 billion gas-to-power project.

Myanmar's military overthrew that government in a Feb 1 coup, prompting protests and unrest that have seen more than 180 people killed, according to activists.

PTTEP's project has not been interrupted by the turmoil, he said.

"Our participation in Myanmar is also to build energy security for the country to support economic growth," he said.

A group of ousted politicians that has declared itself Myanmar's shadow government has urged PTTEP and other energy firms to suspend ties with the junta and put revenue payments into a protected account until democracy was restored.

PTTEP did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the request.

Phongsthorn on Tuesday said the company was politically neutral.

In the Middle East, PTTEP hopes to increase investments midstream following its largest-ever acquisition. In February, PTTEP bought 20% of Oman Block 61 from BP Plc for $2.6 billion.

"Going into Block 61 will help us negotiate and grow our stake in Oman LNG in the future," Phongsthorn said, adding the company wants to raise its 2% stake in Oman LNG to 5% or 10%.

The company plans to lower unit cost from $30 per barrel to $25 per barrel by 2030 as it realizes more capacity from these upstream sources that carry lower expenses.

In December, PTTEP set out a five-year investment budget of $23.6 billion with a target of 6% annual sales volume growth.

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