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Thailand's largest oil and gas firm plans new Asia investment

BANGKOK May 23 Thailand's largest oil and gas explorer PTT Exploration and Production Pcl (PTTEP) is planning new investments or an extension of its operations in fields in Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar, it said on Tuesday.

In Thailand, state-owned PTTEP would bid to extend its concession to operate the Bongkot gas field beyond the existing expiry date of 2023, Executive Vice President Yongyot Krongpanich told an investor briefing.

"We are confident that we will win the concession as we have expertise from operating in this field for two decades," he said, adding the result was expected in the first quarter of 2018.

PTTEP was also in talks for a joint bid with Chevron Group for Thailand's Erawan gas field concession, but was ready to compete against the U.S. major when the tender opens in September if no agreement for a joint bid was reached, he said.

The existing concession for Erawan, which is now operated by Chevron, expires in 2022.

Yongyot also said PTTEP planned investments in Malaysia and Myanmar, but did not give details.

PTTEP had $4.4 billion cash and had no plans to issue bonds, he said.

PTTEP said earlier this month it was suspending investment in Indonesia after the Indonesian government filed a $2 billion lawsuit against the Thai state-owned energy firm for alleged damage from an oil spill eight years ago.

The firm said it expected an average sale of about 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOED) in the second quarter, compared with 304,000 BOED in the first quarter.

Parent firm PTT Pcl, Thailand's largest energy firm, plans an initial public offering (IPO) in 2018 of its spin-off company, PTT Oil and Retail (PTTOR), Investor Relations Manager Pichin Apiwanaphon told another investor briefing.

PTTOR will include service stations, petroleum products, and lubricant products. It will also oversee non-oil retail businesses such as Café Amazon, the coffee franchise, and Fit Auto, the vehicle maintenance service.

After the IPO, PTT will remain a major shareholder of PTTOR but with less than 50 percent. (Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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