PTT Exploration and Production has embarked on a major reorganisation plan to facilitate the company's aggressive expansion target over the next six years.
Thiti Mekavichai, executive vice president for human resources and business services, said that to serve the company’s goal of nearly doubling its annual petroleum production to 600,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020, it would have to deal with many staffing challenges, including finding 1,800 new workers to add to its existing pool of 3,200 staff.
Changing income profiles and operating models resulting from its need to explore more oil and gas prospects overseas will make this task even more daunting. PTTEP expects its income profile to change from 80-90 per cent domestically sourced to 60-70 per cent from domestic fields and about 40 per cent from abroad by 2020.
To support the company’s growth target, PTTEP has been redesigning its organisational structure and processes since the beginning of this year. The new structure is designed to enhance capabilities in resource sharing, and to improve the speed and quality with which projects are executed. It will employ the so-called matrix organisation structure, to replace the asset-based or country-based structure. “In the past, we operated on an asset basis. For example, in Myanmar, we would have a country manager and separate managers for finance, HR, EHS [environmental, health and safety] and others. If we did this in every country, it would result in duplication,” Thiti said.
In an exclusive interview with The Nation, he said corporate culture would play a crucial role in ensuring the matrix system would work. In parallel with introducing the new structure, PTTEP has been campaigning for its staff to adhere to its core values, dubbed the “EP SPIRIT”, which stands for Explorer, Passion, Synergy, Performance excellence, Innovation, Responsibility to society, Integrity and ethics, and Trust and respect.
Thiti said PTTEP would expand its internal 360-degree feedback surveys to cover the positions of senior vice president and above next year, as well as introducing more “performance differentiation” in its rewards-and-pay evaluation matrix over the next few years.
Because only 20 petroleum engineers are produced locally each year, he said PTTEP would certainly have to fill its recruitment gap for the professional and other fields through hiring more non-Thai staff. It will draw up specific targets for taking on non-Thai employees in its overseas operations, especially in Myanmar, which PTTEP regards as its “second home”.
PTTEP currently has operations in 12 countries, in about half of which it is an operator of the petroleum fields, while in the rest it only holds stakes. The countries in which PTEEP runs the petroleum operations include Myanmar, Australia, Malaysia, Oman, Algeria and Canada.
Thiti said PTTEP needed to recruit at least 100 additional Myanmar staff during the next five to 10 years. The company currently has 300 staff working at its Myanmar operations, of which more than 100 are Myanmar nationals.
“But most of them are at the lower levels. This is unsustainable – wherever we are, we must strive to develop the local staff and move them up to the higher ranks,” he said.
A former HR boss at Central Retail Corporation and Shell, Thiti was the first senior executive that PTTEP experimented with bringing in from outside nearly three years ago. A year later, it took in Philip Franklin Patman Jr, a former managing director for mergers and acquisitions (Asia) at the AES Corp, to assume the post of senior vice president for business development.
Nat Lohsuwan, a former corporate communications head at Bayer Thai, joined PTTEP last year as the third senior vice president recruited from outside the company.