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PTT ... reviewing its investment in EGM

PTT keen to sell stake in Egypt gas pipeline business

BANGKOK, March 26, 2015

Thailand's largest energy firm PTT wants to sell its 25 per cent stake in Egyptian company East Mediterranean Gas (EMG), which operates a now defunct natural gas pipeline, chief financial officer Wirat Uanarumit said.
 
State-controlled PTT has been reviewing its investments and spending plans after it reported its steepest quarterly loss on record in the fourth quarter, hit by declining oil prices and losses from fuel subsidies.
 
Wirat said PTT had already written off the investment in EGM, which it bought into for $487 million in December 2007, as the pipeline had ceased operations. The EGM pipeline, which transported gas from Egypt to Israel under a 20-year deal, collapsed after months of attacks by militants in the Sinai peninsula.
 
"We are looking at an option to sell the stake. Some investors have approached us, but there is no progress so far," Wirat told Reuters.
 
"PTT has a representative in EMG's board, but the company has already stopped operations, while we are assessing the situation."
 
Wirat declined to comment on a deal by a group of private investors in Egypt to buy natural gas worth at least $1.2 billion from Israel's offshore Tamar field via another underwater EMG pipeline. 
 
PTT, which is also trying to sell its palm oil business in Indonesia, also cut its five-year investment budget by 11 percent to about 290 billion baht ($8.9 billion) due to volatile oil prices, Wirat said later, speaking with reporters.
 
The 2015 budget will be reduced by 5-10 per cent from an earlier target of 85.5 billion baht, Wirat added. The cuts will be approved at a PTT board meeting.
 
PTT, which holds stakes in five of seven oil refineries in Thailand, aims to sell a 12 per cent stake in oil refiner Bangchak Petroleum in the second quarter, he said.
 
Bangchak runs a 120,000 barrel-per-day refinery and operates more than 1,000 service stations and a solar farm business.--Reuters
 



Tags: Egypt | pipeline | PTT |

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