PTT expects energy prices to fall next year, easing pressure on economy


National energy conglomerate PTT expects oil prices to fall next year, boosting Thailand’s economic recovery.

PTT president and CEO Auttapol Rerkpiboon forecast that the price of a barrel of oil would fall from US$90-$100 this year to $85-$100 in 2023, easing pressure on the economy.

He also expects the LNG price to drop from early next year as demand declines after winter in Europe. A falling LNG price would cut electricity generation costs, as natural gas is used to fuel power stations.

Auttapol told the “Thailand Economic Outlook 2023” seminar held by Krungthep Turakij, that PTT must strike a fine balance between ensuring sufficient oil and gas to meet demand, minimising environmental impacts, and keeping prices as low as possible. He added that PTT is focusing on maximising refinery and transport efficiency and using carbon capture storage technology to reduce environmental impacts.

The energy giant is also switching its focus to cleaner energy such as natural gas as oil consumption is expected to drop over the next decade, he said.

However, PTT will diversify investment to avoid dependence on a narrow range of energy sources.

“We must not bet on a single horse. We have changed our vision from ‘Thai premier league multinational energy company’ to ‘powering life with future energy and beyond”, Auttapol said, highlighting the English terms in quotes.

As part of the change in direction, PTT would focus on future energies such as hydrogen.

The CEO said the conglomerate was focusing on future energies by dividing its investment into six areas:

- New energy

- Life science

- Mobility and lifestyle

- High value and businesses

- Logistics and infrastructure

- AI & Robotics Digitalisation.

Auttapol added that all companies under the PTT Group were committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, 15 years ahead of Thailand’s national goal. As such, PTT would increase its solar electric generating capacity to 12,000 megawatts and double its tree-planting mission to two million by 2050.