Offshore vessel services (OVS) firm Wintermar Offshore Marine is seeking to expand to other Southeast Asian countries to cope with the decline in oil and gas activities in Indonesia, the company's executive has said.
President director Sugiman Layanto said that his company was exploring the opportunity to operate in Myanmar, Vietnam and Brunei Darussalam to increase the utilization rate of the company's vessels. "We especially see a big opportunity in Myanmar, as increasing oil and gas activities might provide an opportunity for expansion there," Sugiman told reporters during a press conference on Thursday.
Myanmar awarded this month contracts to international oil majors Statoil and ConocoPhillips for oil and gas exploration in a deepwater offshore block, according to Reuters. Last year, Myanmar awarded exploration rights to the two companies, as well as to Royal Dutch Shell and Total, for 10 shallow-water blocks and 10 deepwater blocks.
During the fiscal year that ended in March, Myanmar attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) totaling US$8 billion, about 35 percent of which was poured into the energy sector, Reuters reported, citing the Myanmar Investment Commission.
Sugiman said that for its foreign operations, the company currently had two vessels operating for mid-term contracts in India and one vessel for a long-term contract in Brunei Darussalam, the latter of which started last year. The company also has two vessels to cater to Myanmar's spot market and another vessel for the Vietnamese market. Wintermar had no specific target for its overseas expansion, president commissioner Johnson William Sutjipto said. "We simply follow every tender that is suitable for our business and vessel profile," he said.
Strengthening regional business is one of the OVS firm's strategies to mitigate plunging oil prices, which have further affected activities in the oil and gas industry and resulted in the company booking sluggish first-quarter performance. The company currently has 77 vessels, among them are 12 high-tier vessels.
Wintermar saw its revenues decline by 39 percent year-on-year (yoy) to $29.25 million during the first quarter of the year while its net profit plunged by 99 percent from $7.59 million in the first three months of last year, to $76,122.
Crude oil prices, which reached an average of $110 a barrel in mid-2004, have dropped to as low as $50 a barrel in recent months after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided in November to leave output levels unchanged. The Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Special Task Force (SKKMigas) estimates contractors will on average cut their budgets and welling activities by at least 20 percent from their initial work plans, as current low oil prices have made numerous projects uneconomical.
State-owned oil and gas firm Pertamina has said that it will reduce its drilling activities this year to 36 exploration wells and 116 exploitation wells, a significant reduction from the firm's activities in 2014 involving drilling in 39 exploration wells and 243 exploitation wells. During the first quarter, Wintermar saw its overall fleet utilization decrease from 70 percent last year to 61 percent this year, due to low oil and gas activities. Pek Swan Layanto, Wintermar investor relations head, said that Wintermar decided to cut its capital expenditure to $30 million from $50 million to face slowing business.