State-owned oil companies in Thailand and Indonesia face challenging production ambitions

5 June 2019 (Last Updated June 5th, 2019 16:06)

Gas imports in Thailand have risen at about 8% per year over the past five years, while gas exports from Indonesia have been falling by an average of 4% since 2010.

State-owned oil companies in Thailand and Indonesia face challenging production ambitions
Gas imports in Thailand have risen at about 8% per year over the past five years, while gas exports from Indonesia have been falling by an average of 4% since 2010.

Thailand and Indonesia have been facing tighter gas and oil supply/demand dynamics in recent years. The portion of gas supplied from imports in Thailand has been rising at around 8% per year over the past five years, while the most recent data shows that gas exports from Indonesia have been falling by an average of 4% since 2010.

Thailand, Indonesia oil & gas

Oil reserves have also dipped significantly in both countries since 2014 as production has been maintained, but lower oil prices have reduced exploration activity and economically producible resources. Countries across South East Asia are starting to see their National Oil Companies (NOCs) as the key agents to improving the national energy security.

PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP) in Thailand and PT Pertamina (Pertamina) in Indonesia will operate the majority of production in their respective countries by 2023. In Indonesia, fields operated by Pertamina contribute to 35% of the country’s gas after the company took over at Mahakam and to 55% of oil production after it takes over at Rokan. Awarding these major assets to NOCs is an attempt by the governments to take greater control of the key industry and to stimulate investment in mature fields.

Figure: Thailand & Indonesia domestic production forecast

Source: GlobalData Oil and Gas

In Indonesia, regulations introduced over the past three years have made it easier for the state-run NOC, Pertamina, to take over blocks with expiring production-sharing contracts. Two particularly large blocks taken over by Pertamina are the Mahakam block operated by Total SA before 2018, and the Rokan block operated by Chevron until 2021.

However in April 2019 gas production was only 666.6 mmcfd, as Pertamina has continued to struggle with rig mobilisation and weather issues since the start of the year.

In Thailand, PTTEP currently has a small equity share in some of the fields that will be in the Erawan concession, but it will become the main participant and operator in the new concession.