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Bangchak presses ahead with Norway drilling investment
CorporateOct 14. 2020
By The Nation
Bangchak Corporation (BCP) has announced it is pushing ahead with investment in its Norwegian oil and gas drilling arm OKEA, saying there was no risk of losses even if the oil price falls.
Chaiwat Kovavisarach, BCP president and CEO, said OKEA was now back producing about 20,000 barrels per day after a June-July dip due to maintenance work.
OKEA’s low production costs of US$15 per barrel are usually offset by high government tariffs, but the Norwegian government has paid back US$100 million in tariffs to OKEA to relieve the Covid-19 impact, said Chaiwat.
Therefore, BCP would not change its policy to invest in the upstream business, he added.
“BCP is currently drafting a budget plan for investment in additional production sites, expecting to be finalised by November this year,” he said.
BCP plans include a joint venture to develop lithium mines in Argentina, which is expected to begin production late next year.
“The company is studying the market locations and demand for lithium, and how to maximise benefits,” he said.
The project’s first-phase production capacity has been raised from 25,000 tonnes to 40,000 tonnes per year, while the company expects to realise revenue in 2021. BCP will buy approximately 6,000 tonnes of lithium per year, either to sell or to use to produce batteries.
BCP reports that several businesses are already interested in buying lithium from the company.