Thai coal miner Banpu Public Company [BANPU:TB] has purchased the natural gas and midstream gas business from XTO Energy and Barnett Gathering, two subsidiaries of the US energy giant ExxonMobil [XOM:US], as reported by Nikkei Asia on May 21. The USD750m deal is expected to bring the Thai coal producer’s total gas production capacity from around 700 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfepd) to 900 MMcfepd. The target asset will form extensive synergies with the company’s existing gas operation and build sustainable value, according to Banpu. In addition, the company will continue to operate its existing US assets aligning with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles and seek additional business opportunities to raise production capacities and expand its gas business value chain.
The acquisition could pave way for Banpu to branch out its energy business in the US and shift to cleaner energy. In January 2022, Banpu committed to spinning off its coal business as planned and accelerating the green transition. The company expects to generate 49% of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) from the coal business in 2025, down from coal’s share of 80% in 2020. Moreover, the company is boosting investments in natural gas and renewable energies, aiming for over 50% of its profit from low-carbon business by 2025. Citing Banpu CEO Somruedee Chaimongkol, the spike in coal price will not change the company’s goal toward a sustainable power business with smarter and greener energy.