Thailand's PTT suspends $3bln project in Vietnam amid oil slump: report

Thanh Nien News

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 A file photo of a security guard keeping watch during the open ceremony of Thai energy firm PTT's sixth Gas Separation Plant near the town of Map Ta Phut in Rayong province, east of Bangkok in 2011 file photo. Photo: Reuters
As oil prices continue to fall, oil and gas giant PTT Plc has said it will delay three oil refinery and facility projects worth an estimated US$3 billion each in Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia, Thai media reported Thursday.
Chansin Treenuchagron, senior executive vice president for the state-run company's petrochemicals and refineries, told The Bangkok Post that PTT will decide whether to proceed with the projects in 2017.
The company has worked on the feasibility studies of the projects since early last year, he said. It was approached by state-owned oil and gas companies in the countries, but they have yet to reach any agreement, he added.
With oil prices continuing to drop significantly since last year and likely to bottom out next year, PTT has been focusing on higher operating efficiency and reviewing capital expenditures, even though the countries' oil production sector still has potential, Chansin was quoted as saying.
The company originally planned to build an oil refinery complex with a hydrocarbon cracker production facility in Myanmar, while two refineries in Indonesia and Vietnam were slated to be run through its subsidiaries, Thai Oil Plc and PTT Global Chemical Plc, according to the news report.
In Vietnam, PTT is best known for leading a $22-billion refinery, which it has been working on since 2013. Located in the central province of Binh Dinh, the facility is slated to be one of Southeast Asia’s largest with the capacity of 400,000 barrels per day.
Speaking to local media in July, PTT representative Jittayapa Wongsaroj said dropping oil prices forced it to reassess the profitability of the project, and the reassessment was expected to be completed by the end of this year.
PTT, which already secured the participation of Saudi Arabia's national oil and gas company, Aramco, in the mega project, has been reportedly seeking local partners, especially state-run companies such as Petrolimex.

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