We saw an unexpected entrant into the world's biggest deepwater play last week.
PTTEP, the national oil company of Thailand. Who signed a deal to jump into a new project realm for the company, in offshore Brazil.
The Asian petro-major will take 25% of four deepwater blocks here held by BG Group. Covering over 3,000 square kilometres in the Barreirinhas basin.
The deal is an important signal of shifts underway in the global oil sector. Particularly in terms of telling us who the next generation of major petroleum-producing countries around the world are going to be.
A company like PTTEP is quietly becoming a contender to be a big world player in oil and gas. With the firm having been expanding rapidly lately.
And not just in its backyard in Thailand. PTTEP has been aggressively stepping out of its comfort zone. Both in Asia--where it controls major projects in Vietnam, Indonesia and emerging natgas-producer Myanmar. And further afield, with the company having struck project deals in Canada, Australia, Kenya and Algeria.
That's a very aggressive expansion program for a company many investors have never heard of.
But we might be running into PTTEP a lot more soon on the global stage. The firm bears many striking similarities to another Asian major: Malaysia's Petronas. A company that bootstrapped itself into one of the most advanced offshore explorers in the world.
PTTEP isn't there yet. But the company has been making some next-generation moves on its home turf in Thailand.
The Thai oil sector is one of the first globally to apply directional drilling and multi-stage fracking. With the latter even having been executed in the offshore.
That makes this part of the world one of the most advanced in terms of unconventional development, outside the U.S.
PTTEP's new Brazilian deal is just one more sign this is a company--and a producing nation--on the rise. Something to remember as we look for hydrocarbon plays globally.
Here's to rising stars,
By Dave Forest