Mehmet Ogutcu at ASEAN Summit in Vietnam

Mehmet Ogutcu at ASEAN Summit in Vietnam

20:06 02 December in Interview and news, INTERVIEWS & NEWS | 02 December, 2013 | 

By Josh Lewis
Asean cooperation key to success

Cooperation between the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is key for the region to meet its growing energy demands.

Speaking at the 2013 Asean Council of Petroleum (Ascope) conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, the chief executive of Petrovietnam Exploration & Production, Do Van Khanh, said it was important for national oil companies (NOCs) in the region to work together.

“We believe that, with a successful relationship, Asean NOCs can thrive together and be successful together,” he told delegates.

He added that Petrovietnam believed that NOCs should lobby their relevant governments in order to help facilitate joint ventures between the companies in their respective countries, as well as building joint ventures outside of the Asean region.

Khanh joked that a more accurate term for NOCs today would be NIOCs, or national international oil companies.

“Before NOCs normally focused on domestic exploration but right now they are expanding a lot very actively overseas,” he said.

The head of geopolitics, energy and macroeconomy at Malaysian NOC Petronas, Mohd Faizal B Othman, also highlighted the fact that Asean NOCs could also build upon their relationships to target exploration outside of the region together.

“Although we have NOC cooperation ventures in South East Asia, there is very limited ventures between Asean NOCs outside South East Asia,” he explained.

He said there was perhaps scope for Asean NOCs to work together and combine their “technical knowhow” and capabilities to target international frontiers as energy demand continued to grow in South East Asia.

With a call for NOCs to form stronger partnerships, the chairman of UK-based investment group Global Resources, Mehmet Ogutcu, also told delegates at the conference it was important for international oil companies (IOCs) to forge closer partnerships with NOCs.

“Some IOCs already recognise this reality because NOCs control the bulk of the reserves in the world in oil and gas and they also have access to finance … as well as technology and technical competence and managerial skills,” he said.

“Therefore we have to see synergies and real partnerships in NOC/IOC partnerships otherwise the game will change in favour of NOCs.”

He said NOCs such as Petrovietnam, Petonas and Pertamina, as well as those outside of the Asean region such as Gazprom, China National Petroleum Corporation and Petrobras, were becoming “significant forces to reckon with”.

Ogutcu urged delegates from IOCs to work with NOCs and understand their concerns and specific objectives in order to address them and work together.

Khanh also spoke of the importance of forging relationships with international players, saying NOCs and IOCs could learn from each other and gain advantages by sharing risks while improving their combined finance, labour and technical resources.

“It also increases access,” he explained.

“One company they have different connections compared to us we have a different connections with different countries so we can share that.”