Thai oil giant seeks Middle East partners to meet growing energy demand
Bangkok (Bloomberg) - Thailand’s state-controlled oil and gas company PTT is looking to resource-rich countries in the Middle East to help meet the country’s growing energy demand.
PTT is exploring partnership possibilities with Middle East countries that it could finalize in the next few years, Chief Executive Officer Chansin Treenuchagron said in a Bloomberg Television interview Wednesday. Thailand’s oil demand rose to 1.48 MMbpd last year, 1 million more than it produces, according to BP data.
“We need crude and we maybe need exploration in some countries in the Middle East,” Chansin said. “Because we need supply for Thailand and Asian markets.”
Chansin didn’t name any companies or countries currently in discussions with PTT, but said it would have to be something in line with PTT’s vision.
Oil companies from places like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been investing in Asian oil refiners to lock in buyers for their crude in the region with the fastest growing demand. PTT is Thailand’s largest refiner.
PTT is optimistic that the U.S.-China trade war and resulting economic downturn will have only a short-term impact on oil demand.
The company is also safeguarding against any long-term move away from crude consumption by diversifying to natural gas production and power generation, which would benefit from increasing demand for electricity in the region.
“We aim to be the center of gas in this region,” Chansin said, adding the company is also increasingly investing in renewable energy and expanding its retail businesses.