BCP to ramp up investments in Norway

BCP to ramp up investments in Norway

Firm aims to boost production capacity

Mr Chaiwat, left, and Mr Liknes at a petroleum exploration and production site of Okea.
Mr Chaiwat, left, and Mr Liknes at a petroleum exploration and production site of Okea.

Energy conglomerate Bangchak Corporation Plc (BCP) is gearing up for new investments in Norway through expansion of oil and gas exploration and production, in order to strengthen its position in the upstream petroleum business.

The company is in talks with oil and gas companies and expects to conclude one or two deals this year, said Chaiwat Kovavisarach, chief executive of BCP and chairman of Norway-based Okea ASA, an oil and gas drilling company.

In 2018, BCP acquired a 45.7% share in Okea, which is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

"BCP is interested in investing in the oil and gas business through its partner, Okea," said Mr Chaiwat. "We see more opportunities to invest in petroleum exploration and production."

Yesterday BCP submitted a new investment plan to the Okea board for approval.

The upstream petroleum business is BCP's latest focus following a midstream emphasis on oil refining as well as downstream oil retail.

Mr Chaiwat said a decision on new investment projects in exploration and production will depend on operational costs, which should not be greater than US$15-20 per barrel for each production source.

BCP expects its oil and gas production capacity to increase to 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2023, up from around 20,000 barrels at present.

The volume is expected to rise to 40,000-60,000 barrels a day within the next 4-5 years.

Svein J. Liknes, chief executive of Okea, said the company currently operates four petroleum fields in Norway, including Draugen. They have a combined production capacity of about 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Okea took over the Draugen oil field from Shell in 2018 and is continually developing new fields, which will increase production capacity to about 25,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by the end of this year.

In the first half of 2022, Okea recorded 10.2 billion baht in revenue from the sale of crude oil and natural gas, a year-on-year increase of 148%, from 4.13 billion baht in 2021.

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