Brightoil Petroleum eyes upstream gas assets
Brightoil, the second-largest supplier of marine fuel in Singapore and China, wants to expand its upstream and trading businesses to other products after a slowdown in the shipping sector eroded its profit 76 percent in the last fiscal year. "China is a big supermarket in the world. They need energy, they need crude oil. For our company, we must capture this opportunity," Sit told Reuters.
This year, the 44-year-old Sit, who is believed to enjoy warm ties with officials in Beijing, travelled between 300 and 400 hours in search of "big gas blocks".
He declined to say where the prospects were, but added that an uncertain outlook for oil prices made it challenging to decide when to acquire these assets.
Brightoil owns two gas blocks in China, but Sit is not keen to jump on the shale gas bandwagon, even though Beijing has opened the sector to private companies controlled by Chinese investors.
"I don't like shale gas...It's difficult to make money," he said, adding that shale development was better left to international oil companies with the experience and resources.
China is on course this year for its weakest full year of expansion since 1999, although the latest data show the slowdown is bottoming out in the fourth quarter. Sit expects the global economy to improve in 2013 and wants
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