Shell Oil to cut holdings in Sirikit field in northern Thailand

Nov 14, 2003 01:00 AM

Thai Shell Exploration and Production confirmed that it intended to dilute its interest in the Sirikit oil field in the northern Thailand. The local unit of Shell had said that the future of its upstream assets would be decided by the end of the year. The confirmation was disclosed by Energy Minister Prommin Lertsuridej after his talks with Dominique Gardy, CEO of Shell Exploration and Production for Asia-Pacific.
"We are undertaking a review of the holding (in the Sirikit field) for business-oriented reasons. Under this consideration, the holding should be changed," Dr Prommin quoted Mr Gardy as saying.

The minister said the group's strategy was to shift its focus to assets generating high returns. Currently, 80 % of Shell's business is in China, Russia and Kazakhstan where the value of the investment ratio is high.
Dr Prommin said Mr Gardy had not determined how much of a stake in the Sirikit field Shell would sell, or to whom. However, he told Mr Gardy that PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) was interested in buying Thai Shell's 75 % interest in the field. PTTEP currently holds the remaining 25 %.

Earlier, Luechai Wongsivasawad, managing director of Thai Shell Exploration and Production, said the company would push ahead with its plans to invest 1 bn baht this year and next despite uncertainty about the parent company's business plans for Thailand.
Thai Shell has operated small-sized assets locally but they have recorded high profits from operations, he said, citing its participation in the Sirikit field.

Source: Bangkok Post
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