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Thai oil firm PTTEP plans expenditure of around US$3b in 2018

[BANGKOK] Thai oil company PTT Exploration and Production Pcl on Tuesday said it was planning total expenditure of US$3.1 billion in 2018, up a touch from the US$2.9 billion it earlier estimated for expenditure in 2017.

That comes after the company, part of the energy giant PTT Group, in November reported a US$264 million loss for its third quarter after writing down its investment in Canada .

Capital expenditure will account for US$1.77 billion of the 2018 total, with operating expenditure making up the other US$1.33 billion, PTTEP said in a statement.

Nearly 60 per cent of capital expenditure will come in Thailand, the firm said, where it will maintain production levels at existing projects including the Bongkot, Arthit and S1 developments.

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PTTEP said that projects in other Southeast Asia countries would account for 32 per cent of next year's capital expenditure, with a focus on its Myanmar assets, where it will also look to maintain production levels.

Projects in Australia, Africa and the Americas will account for 9 percent of capital expenditure. These include the PTTEP Australasia project and Mozambique Rovuma Offshore Area 1, where a final investment decision is under consideration.

The company estimates exploration expenditure for next year at US $232 million in Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia and Australia.

PTTEP expects average petroleum sales to be 302,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day next year.

Its planned total expenditure for 2018-2022 stands at US$15.5 billion.

The company said in the statement that it was looking at "investment opportunities through M&A, bidding for expiring concession in the Gulf of Thailand, as well as new exploration blocks".

Auctions for two offshore gas concessions in the Gulf of Thailand are expected to take place next year. Chevron Corp operates the Erawan field and PTTEP operates the Bongot field under licences which are set to expire in 2022 and 2023 respectively.

The areas have combined output of 2.2 billion cubic feet a day, about 76 per cent of output from the Gulf of Thailand.

REUTERS