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Conoco Focuses on Asia, But No Plans to Buy Assets

07 November 2001 , 15:10401
be paying back about $2 billion in debt, so our major focus is doing that and continuing ongoing projects," said James McColgin, president of exploration production Africa, Asia Pacific, Middle East at the U.S.'s third biggest oil firm. McColgin told Reuters on the sidelines of the 7th ASCOPE conference that Conoco plans to "enlarge our presence in Southeast Asia" because of the large population and estimated unproduced reserves of some 45 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

He did not give any details on its Southeast Asia growth plans.

ASCOPE is a council of petroleum companies under ASEAN.

Southeast Asia became Conoco's newest global business area following its acquisition of Gulf Canada Resources in July, through which it attained a majority interest in Gulf Indonesia Resources Ltd.

The company has interest in five production sharing contract areas in Indonesia, including Block B, Northwest Natuna II block, Tobong block, South Sokang block and Warim block.

Gulf Indonesia has upstream operations in Sumatra, East Java and the Natuna Sea.

Conoco also has interests in five blocks in Vietnam, which include the Sutu Den discovery and the nearby Sutu Vang find.

Sutu Den, dubbed one of the largest discoveries in Southeast Asia in at least the last decade, is estimated to hold 200 million to 400 million barrels of oil.

Sutu Vang, which the company announced at the end of October, is estimated to hold between 130 million and 440 million barrels of oil.

Last month, Houston-based Conoco reported a 48 percent decline in third-quarter earnings based on lower prices for crude oil and natural gas and higher exploration and operating expenses.

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