Thailand expected to extend gas field concessions

In its bid to attract multiple billion of dollars in new investment, Thailand's Petroleum Committee plans to consider the long-awaited petition to extend a 10-year oil and gas concession in the Gulf of Thailand.

Offshore staff

BANGKOK -- In its bid to attract multiple billions of dollars in new investment, Thailand's Petroleum Committee plans to consider the long-awaited petition to extend a 10-year oil and gas concession in the Gulf of Thailand. Chevron (Thailand), PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP), Total, and BG are the concessionaires.

The Mineral Fuels Department deputy director-general Songphop Polachan says the extension for the concessions, ending in 2012, would induce continued investment in the petroleum sector, including a 1.8-billion investment required to increase gas production at the South Bongkot field to 1 bcf/d from the current 640 MMcf/d.

A further $8 billion would be required to boost production from fields including the U1, U2 and U3 to 1 bcf/d and to increase the Plathong field's output by 300 MMcf/d.

Chevron holds concession to the U1, U2 and U3 fields, while PTTEP, Total, and BG operates the South Bongkot fields.

The Energy Ministry and the cabinet are expected to approve the extension once the Petroleum Committee has cleared it.

Meanwhile, the department is promoting the 20th bidding round, with incentives including exemption on machinery import duty and value-added taxes. It is also considering additional incentives such as exemption from environment assessment impact reports in some lesser sensitive areas.

The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry is expected to decide on the incentives soon as the country prepares to award 65 blocks.

6/20/2007

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