The SET-listed PTT Exploration and Production Plc (PTTEP), Thailand's top oil and gas explorer, has delayed the restart of operations at its Montara field in Australia until early next year because of setbacks in granting field permits.
Tevin Vongvanich, the president and chief executive, said the original plan was to start operations this December, but its safety and environmental plan were only approved last week.
"Australia changed their approval team, which led to differing opinions about our plans," he said.
"But many companies in Australia experienced this delay, not just us."
Located 250 kilometres off Australia's northwestern coast, the Montara project is operated by the wholly owned Australasia (Ashmore Cartier) Pty Ltd (PTTEP AA) and will have initial production of 30,000 barrels per day of oil.
PTTEP AA was fined A$510,000 for Montara's 2009 oil spill.
Mr Tevin said PTTEP's five-year budget is US$12 billion, of which about 20% is for investing in offshore exploration of petroleum projects, mostly in Myanmar.
It will announce next year's budget this December.
Major investments for PTTEP, a unit of the energy flagship PTT Plc, include the acquisition of London-listed Cove Energy and an oil sand project in Canada. The company has 44 projects in 12 countries.
"Today we have a large amount of resources in stock that can be converted into reserves. What we need though is to commercialise them first," said Mr Tevin, adding that it takes four or five years to develop liquefied natural gas compared with three or four years for gas.
Its Cove Energy field in Mozambique will start production in 2019.
Mr Tevin made his comments on the sidelines of a conference on investment in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).He said obstacles to investing in the GMS include the different levels of development in each country, as some have only recently opened up to trade, while infrastructure and services such as banking are not yet developed.
Shares of PTTEP closed yesterday on the SET at 159.50 baht, up 50 satang, in trade worth 413 million baht.
About the author
- Writer: Nanchanok Wongsamuth
Position: News Reporter