GE Plans to Double Asia Oil, Gas Business, Grow Floating LNG

General Electric Co. is seeking to double its oil and gas business in Asia in three to five years, driven by about $40 billion in projects in Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia, two of its senior executives in the region said.

“This is where we see a lot of dynamism in the future,” Visal Leng, general manager of GE’s oil and gas division in Asia, said in an interview today in Kuala Lumpur, where he’s attending a natural-gas industry conference.

GE, whose technology is used to cool gas to liquid, is seeking contracts to supply floating LNG ventures, designed to tap reserves too small or too far from coasts to be profitably developed through onshore plants, Kenji Uenishi, president of GE’s energy unit in Asia, said in the same interview.

The Fairfield, Connecticut-based company is focusing on international markets and plans to boost sales outside the U.S. to 65 percent of total industrial revenue by 2020 from 59 percent, the company said in a March presentation. GE has said it projects that revenue in resource-rich nations such as Australia will rise as much as 25 percent a year through 2016.

Potential exists to supply a floating LNG project approved by Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. following a 2011 agreement to supply technology to Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Prelude project off Australia, Uenishi said. Petroliam Nasional, or Petronas, has decided to build its first floating LNG venture and targets exports in 2015, it said June 4.

GE said today it won a $150 million contract to supply technology to Petronas to add 3.6 million metric tons of capacity a year to an LNG project at Bintulu in the country’s Sarawak region.

“I don’t see any slowdown in demand for gas in Asia,” Uenishi said. “But it’s getting more difficult, technically challenging, to develop” oil and gas fields.

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