Sea Oil Ventures into E&P

Thai marine fuel and lubricants supplier Sea Oil PCL bought a 50 percent stake last month in the local subsidiary of a Canadian oil exploration business. Sea Oil said it became a partner of Pan Orient Energy in order to improve its profitability and reduce risk.

Sea Oil, which is based in Bangkok, paid U.S. $42.5 million to acquire half of Pan Orient Energy (Siam) Ltd. The transaction was completed in early February, three months after the deal was announced.

Sea Oil officials said they expect the participation in Pan Orient will increase its revenues by 20 percent initially, and that the exploration operation will eventually account for half of revenue. They predicted it will also increase profits by 20 percent.

Sea Oil said it still has funds allocated for additional acquisitions or mergers, though the budget for further actions is smaller.

Sea Oil provides high-speed diesel, marine fuels and lubricants to vessels in Thai waters and neighboring parts of Southeast Asia. Pan Orient Energy is a junior oil and natural gas exploration company based in Calgary, Canada, with operations in Indonesia, as well as Thailand and Canada.