Thailand’s main oil and gas company PTT Plc said it aims to displace Shell as the country’s leading lubricant oil marketer by 2007, The Nation newspaper reported.


PTT said it now has a 19% share of the domestic market after Shell and Esso, and aims to raise that to 30% in three years.


We are focusing more on the lubricant business as the profit margin is better than in our fuel oil business,” the newspaper quoted Apisit Rujikiatkamjorn, senior executive vice president of PTT, as saying.


The company’s lubricant business is controlled by Thai Lube Blending Co Ltd, which is wholly owned by Thai Oil Plc. PTT has a 49% stake in Thai Oil.


The company is rolling out a range of products to cater to the needs of all user groups, but with a focus on transportation units.


It has launched Performa Synthetic ATI HM, a lube designed with the most advanced technology for use in vehicles with gasoline engines. The product was endorsed by the US government last month.


It also introduced PTT Lube Marine for ocean liners recently.


More will be launched afterwards to broaden our market share,” Mr Apisit said.


About 300 million litres of lubricants are consumed a year but, despite the higher margins, the market potential is limited, Mr Apisit said.