July 27, 2017 / 7:36 AM / 3 years ago

CORRECTED-Thailand's PTT venture takes $500 million stake in Malaysia LNG project

(Corrects headline and paragraph 1 to show that PTT venture not PTTEP took stake)

BANGKOK, July 27 (Reuters) - PTTEP, the exploration and production arm of Thailand’s oil and gas giant PTT Group, said on Thursday their liquefied natural gas (LNG) venture had taken a $500 million stake in a project with Malaysia’s Petronas.

Announcing second-quarter results - which were roughly in line with analysts’ expectations - PTTEP said it was looking to expand further in Southeast Asia and was awaiting the results of a few bid proposals for exploration projects in the region.

It said a joint venture with its parent company - PTT Global LNG Company - had bought a 10 percent stake in liquefaction plant MLNG Train 9 in Malaysia.

The announcement comes barely a day after Petronas scrapped a proposed C$36 billion ($29 billion) LNG project in Canada due to weak prices, dealing a blow to the Malaysian state company’s global ambitions and leaving it with a bill for work already done.

“Investment with a leading company, Petronas, would support the LNG business of the company in expanding our operations in Malaysia in the future,” PTTEP said in a statement.

PTTEP said it was awaiting the results of “a few” bid proposals submitted for projects in the final stages of development or close to production, mainly in Southeast Asia.

“The company plans to accelerate exploration activities in ... projects in the current portfolio, particularly focused on Myanmar and Malaysia, as well as seeking new opportunities in strategic areas,” it said.

PTTEP will also participate in the bidding process for the Bongkot and Erawan gas fields in the Gulf of Thailand in the first quarter of 2018, it said.

PTTEP posted a second-quarter net profit of $220 million, an increase of more than 180 percent from the same time last year, which it said was largely due to a hedging gain this year and a loss last year as well as a decrease in tax.

It said it was aiming for production of 290,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) in the third quarter in Thailand and expected total average sales for 2017 to be 300,000 boed. (Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Matthew Tostevin and Tom Hogue)

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