Refiner Thai Oil said on Tuesday its 275,000 barrel-per-day refinery should continue to run at full capacity in 2010 because it can use some products to feed its petrochemical plant.
Thai Oil's plan contrasts with the trend among major global oil refiners, which have cut their run rates as the sector is facing weak refining margins in the face of a supply glut.
We are sticking to our plan to run at full capacity for this year and next because we have already signed contracts to supply oil products with PTT, Chief Executive Surong Bulakul told reporters.
Thai Oil, nearly half-owned by top energy firm PTT also operates a paraxylene petrochemical plant, which uses feedstock from the refinery.
The refinery business contributes about 50 percent of Thai Oil's profit, while 30 percent comes from petrochemicals and the rest from its power and lubricant businesses.
Thai Oil's third-quarter refining margin, excluding the impact from its oil inventory, was expected to be below the second quarter's $5.7 a barrel due to the oversupply and the absence of any strong sign of recovery in demand, Surong said.
At 0907 GMT, Thai Oil shares were up 1.13 percent at 44.75 baht, while the overall market was 0.18 percent higher. (Reporting by Pisit Changplayngam; Writing by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Alan Raybould)