PTTEP to assess Arthit

PTT Exploration & Production PLC will launch a $40 million second drilling campaign to assess Arthit, one of the most promising gas areas in the Gulf of Thailand. PTTEP, which is majority-owned by the Thai government, will drill at least 10 wells in the three-block area designated Arthit in the second quarter. The three blocks are 14A, 15A, and 16A.


BANGKOK, Feb. 5�PTT Exploration & Production PLC (PTTEP) will launch a $40 million second drilling campaign to assess Arthit, one of the most promising gas areas in the Gulf of Thailand.

PTTEP, which is majority-owned by the Thai government, will drill at least 10 wells in the three-block area designated Arthit in the second quarter. They will use a Transocean Sedco Forex Inc. jackup.

The three blocks are 14A, 15A, and 16A. PTTEP plans to spud two exploratory wells in 14A and two in 16A, then follow up with six appraisal wells in the core area in 14A and 15A.

PTTEP wants to firm up gas reserves in the area and find other reserves in unexplored areas in the concession area.

The wells will also allow PTTEP to minimize relinquishment of the areas in February 2003.

The seven wells drilled on Arthit last year found an average 73 m of pay and tested an average 34.5 MMcfd of gas and 882 b/d of condensate.

PTTEP has already estimated Arthit, 35 km northeast of Bongkot field, holds 3.64 tcf of potential gas reserves.

Maroot Mrigadat, senior vice-president of PTTEP, said Arthit could produce at 500 MMcfd.

The company said stand-alone gas production development is somewhat less than $500 million. PTTEP said such a development would have "commercial attractiveness," but also said Arthit may have synergy with other prospects in the area.

PTTEP said that due to lower-than-expected Thai demand, it does not expect to bring Arthit on stream before 2005. Previously it had hoped to put the area on line in 2003.

As of end 2000, PTTEP and its partners have spent $89 million on the acreage. PTTEP has a 80% interest in the Arthit concession, with Unocal Thailand Ltd. holding 16% and Moeco Thailand Co. 4%.

Nearby Bongkot is producing more than 550 MMcfd of gas.

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