SINGAPORE (Mar 6): For oil explorer and producer Interra Resources, staying prudent has always been key to remaining viable as the global oil industry struggles with stagnant demand, over-supply, and subdued prices. “Interra tends to take a conservative approach, be it in terms of our estimates or company operations,” CEO Marcel Tjia tells The Edge Singapore in an interview.

“But as long as the world economy doesn’t completely collapse, we have a favourable outlook for the coming year,” says Tjia, who runs the Singapore-listed company which has operations in Indonesia and Myanmar.

Compared to the trough of 2016, crude oil prices have doubled in the past two years — although the recent Covid-19 outbreak has caused slowdown fears and therefore dampened prices for now. While Tjia says that Interra is looking to take advantage of the upward trend in oil prices by ramping up its production in both Indonesia and Myanmar, he stresses the importance of moving at a sustainable pace instead of charging ahead. “Given our size as a company, we have to be smart in how we think about things such as acquisitions and spending,” he says.

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