‘We want to showcase Thailand’s great innovation capabilities at Expo 2020 Dubai’

With operations spanning from Southeast Asia to the Middle East with a strong presence in the UAE and Oman, PTTEP today is proud to be the Energy Partner of Choice through its competitive performance and innovation for long-term value creation. It is this value proposition that PTTEP will be showcasing at its dedicated booth at the Thailand Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai until February 17.

In a freewheeling interview to Reach by Gulf News, PTTEP CEO Montri Rawanchaikul explains the exciting journey ahead for the company and the industry.

The global energy industry is rapidly embracing both the opportunities and challenges of the current energy transition. How has PTTEP emerged as the Energy Partner of Choice for such companies?

The energy industry today is indeed a fast-changing world and the challenges that we see now across various sectors have never been seen before. But before I get on to that, PTTEP has been in business for 37 years – as Thailand’s national petroleum exploration and production company dedicating ourselves to providing a sustainable petroleum supply to Thailand and the countries we operate in. We are a big player in the Gulf of Thailand and neighbouring countries like Malaysia. We also recently expanded to the Middle East, which is one of our strategic investment areas. Currently we have more than 40 projects in 15 countries including the UAE and Oman.

When it comes to the challenges the world is seeing now, people are seeing a transition to new forms of energies. As the world passes through this critical transition, we have to look back at what we have done in the past and then assess what we can do in the future and look at new business strategies. That is why we have come up with a new direction to fulfil our mission.

Montri Rawanchaikul, CEO of PTTEP, explains how the company plans to leverage its strengths in petroleum exploration and production and explore new investment opportunities for sustainable growth
Image Credit: Supplied

We are transforming ourselves to become a cautious diversified player who leverages strengths in petroleum exploration and production to achieve energy security and explore new energy investment opportunities for sustainable growth. First is to sustain and grow our core business, which is petroleum exploration and production. We will continue with the Expand and Execute and Coming Home strategies. Our investments will target areas where we are proficient, namely South East Asia and the Middle East. We will seek to create additional value and increase sales volume of existing assets while also accelerate the development of major projects to ensure timely production start-ups. The goal is for PTTEP to be a major natural gas producer in South East Asia.

Second, we must think about new business opportunities amid the rapidly changing energy landscape. Viewed in perspective with the ongoing energy transition, our new businesses will be in the areas of innovation and technology. Our aim is to become a leading developer of technology and innovation that will deliver a competitive advantage. Other areas are the power business, encompassing gas to power and LNG to power projects. Renewables will also be a part of the energy mix, which we will continue to explore investment opportunities in those areas.

Third is the energy transition, which will enable us to transform for the future. For PTTEP, we see gas as major part of the energy transition, but it needs to be greener and cleaner with technology that we call Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) that will lead us towards the goal of net-zero carbon emissions. It is a huge opportunity for our investment in the future. Every oil and gas company needs to move to a new way of doing business – produce something cleaner. That’s why, in particular, we see huge opportunities in CCUS. Stripping the jargon, it essentially comes down to the process that captures and stores carbon dioxide emissions from various energy plants, so it will not enter the atmosphere. We will certainly look at new business opportunities in CCUS and other new forms of energy such as hydrogen.

PTTEP was part of the consortium that won Adnoc’s licence to explore three offshore blocks. Last year, PTTEP also acquired stakes in onshore exploration block in the Concession Area C in the UAE and acquired stakes in Oman’s Block 61. How does that align with PTTEP’s presence in the Middle East with a focus on the UAE and Oman?

We introduced the Coming Home strategy three years ago – we have Thailand as our main hub, along with Malaysia and other neighboring countries. Then we moved a bit from our home and expanded to the Middle East, but we still call it a coming home strategy. Why? Because we first came to the Middle East in 2002, and in a matter of two decades the region has become a hub for PTTEP. We look at this region as a hub for us to grow, and that’s why we are now the Energy Partner of Choice in the Middle East, with some key projects in Oman and the UAE.

For the UAE, we have a strategic alliance with ENI for Adnoc’s offshore blocks 1, 2, and 3. Recently, we also expanded our investment in the UAE by acquiring a 25 per cent participating interest in the Concession Area C onshore Sharjah.

For Oman, last year we also acquired a 20 per cent participating interest in the country’s Block 61, a producing onshore gas field ,which is one of the largest gas developments in the Middle East. These investments align with PTTEP’s strategic focus on petroleum-prolific areas in the Middle East.

As these exciting developments indicate, we will certainly continue to focus on our business growth in this region.

Could you elaborate on PTTEP’s new business focus areas in terms of innovation and technology?

We set up our subsidiary AI and Robotics Ventures Company, or ARV, to create a successful future with artificial intelligence and robotics to offer services for clients. ARV seeks to build on PTTEP’s specialised technological capabilities in petroleum exploration and production and enhance our competitiveness. The expertise of ARV has also supported other industries outside the energy sector, boosting their efficiency and business value. ARV came up with the concept of what we can do better in terms of efficiency, use of technology and use of AI and robotics. One of our solutions recently won ADIPEC 2020 Award for the Breakthrough Technological Project of the Year – Nautilus is the world-first subsea pipeline repair robot, which we are very proud of.

What are your thoughts on PTTEP’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai?

The UAE celebrated its 50th anniversary last year and the relationship between Thailand and the UAE is 45 years old – this is the time to celebrate and recognise that historic relationship. As a platinum sponsor of Thailand Pavilion, we are proud and honoured to have been invited to showcase our innovations and technology at Expo 2020 Dubai, and we are very excited to be a part of it.

We will have a PTTEP booth at Expo 2020 Dubai until February 17 to showcase our new cutting-edge technologies and innovations at the Thailand pavilion. The Thailand Pavilion itself is an exciting destination attracting a huge number of visitors and ranked as one of the top pavilions of Expo 2020 Dubai. PTTEP and our subsidiary ARV will showcase advanced technologies that we have developed in collaboration with our partners to help various industries such as exploration and production, agriculture, and others. We believe we can offer simplified solutions to meet the challenges of business and minimise environmental impact of operations for various industries.

We invite everyone to come and visit our booth at the Thailand Pavilion – and see how the country is moving towards becoming the regional hub for technology and digital innovations. PTTEP is a reflection of Thailand’s great industrial capabilities, and this is a great opportunity to showcase that.

To find out more about PTTEP at Thailand Pavilion, click here

This content comes from Reach by Gulf News, which is the branded content team of GN Media.

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