PTT Exploration and Production Plc (PTTEP) says it is looking forward to producing more petroleum after discovering oil and gas in Malaysia, part of the company's long-term plan to seek new supply as gas reserves in Thailand dwindle.

Malaysia and the Middle East are two key areas where PTTEP aims to increase gas production as energy analysts expect domestic gas supply to deplete within a decade, causing Thailand to import more liquefied natural gas (LNG), according to the company.

LNG makes up 30% of gas used in the country and was blamed earlier for driving up power bills based on price fluctuations in the global market. Gas accounts for 60% of fuels used for power generation in the country.

Montri Rawanchaikul, chief executive of PTTEP, said the new discoveries were made at three fields in offshore petroleum blocks SK405B and SK438 in Sarawak. These fields have proven to be high-quality oil and gas reservoirs, especially Babadon-1 exploration well, which revealed massive sweet gas sandstone reservoirs with thickness of up to 200 metres, he said.

PTTEP earlier discovered gas at Lang Lebah field, located in the SK410B block, some 90 kilometres off the coast of Miri in Sarawak. It is the company's largest gas discovery in Malaysia.

The company operates the SK410B block through its subsidiary PTTEP HK Offshore, which made a 42.5% investment in this gas business. KUFPEC Malaysia, a subsidiary of Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration , also made a 42.5% investment, while the remaining 15% was funded by Petronas Carigali, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia's national oil flagship Petronas.

The Lang Lebah project is scheduled to start commercial operation in 2027, producing up to 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day. This field is estimated to hold 5 trillion cubic feet of gas.

PTTEP has more than 10 operational petroleum projects in Malaysia. Projects at seven other petroleum blocks are in the exploration phase.

Domestically, the company announced earlier a plan to increase gas production at the Erawan gas field in the Gulf of Thailand to 800 million standard cubic feet per day by April 2024 to help Thailand be less dependent on imported LNG.