BANGKOK, Mar. 22�Chevron Corp., San Francisco, Calif., has refocused its exploration and production in the Gulf of Thailand towards recovering more crude oil than natural gas in the wake of restricted Thai gas demand.
The revised strategy sees the San Francisco-based company gearing toward recovering oil from its existing block B8/32 and future concession tracts in the Thai Gulf it plans to obtain. In line with the strategy, Chevron has been working to more than double oil production from its Thai Gulf fields to more than 70,000 b/d by 2004 (OGJ Online, Mar. 19, 2001).
Already the largest oil producer in Thailand, Chevron Offshore's production is from Tantawan and Benchamas fields, now yielding 34,000 b/d of light, waxy crude similar to Malaysia's Tapis Light.
Driving higher production will be new fields like North Jarmjuree, Kung, and Maliwan.
Jay Pryor, managing director of Chevron Offshore (Thailand) Ltd., the local unit of Chevron, said the firm will choose to first explore and develop prospects and fields yielding oil and defer activities on gas-prone locations.
Thai energy planners foresee the kingdom's total gas usage will grow by 7-8% a year over the next 5 years from about 2 bcfd last year because of the economic slowdown.
Much of the Thai gas demand over the next 5 years has already been booked by long-term contracts, with supplies coming mostly from the Gulf of Thailand and Myanmar's Gulf of Martaban (Yadana and Yetagun fields).
Unocal Corp., which also has operations in the Gulf of Thailand, recently announced plans to begin crude production and lower gas production (OGJ Online, Mar. 5, 2001).
Resource firms operating in Thailand envisage new demand for natural gas to emerge around 2005-6.
The US oil firm will continue to invest heavily in developing its Thai acreage, spending more than $150 million/year over the next few years to top $500 million already spent on the venture in the last 3 years.