The offshore Zawtika project operated by Thai state-owned enterprise PTT Exploration and Production Public Company is due to begin supplying 100 million cubic feet of gas a day to Myanmar, said a PTTEP spokesperson.
PTTEP’s external relations manager, Myanmar asset, Siriphong Fuenglikhit, told Mizzima Business Weekly in an in a series of emails late last month that the gas for Myanmar will account for a third of the Zawtika project’s daily output. Another 200mmscfd will be piped to Thailand when the project goes into operation this month, he said.
The Zawtika project in the Gulf of Mottama is about 300 kilometres south of Yangon and 290km west of Tavoy (Dawei), says PTTEP’s website.
PTTEP International Limited (PTTEPI), a subsidiary of PTTEP, has an 80 percent share in the project and its joint venture partner, Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), has the remaining 20 percent, the website says.
“PTTEP plans to drill more appraisal wells in the Zawtika project and carry out exploration activities in Myanmar M3 to provide natural gas to the domestic market,” PTTEP president and chief executive officer, Tevin Vongvanich, was quoted as saying in a news released issued on February 25.
Exploration in the M3 block in the Gulf of Mottama is being carried out under an August 2004 joint venture agreement between PTTEPI and Mitsui Oil Exploration Co., Ltd., the website says.
PTTEP has allocated US$3.3 billion for capital spending in Myanmar during the next five years to demonstrate its commitment to the country, the release said.
It quoted Mr Tevin as saying the planned spending underscored the importance of Myanmar to PTTEP’s overall portfolio, which ranks the country as its second largest investment after its Thai home turf.
“Myanmar is the first international venture of PTTEP in Southeast Asia,” he said.
PTTEP has invested as an operator in seven exploration and production projects in Myanmar, Mr Siriphong said in an email.
He said that as well as the Zawtika project in block M9 going into production this month, block M3 is in the exploration and appraisal phase, block M11 is the exploration phase and blocks MD7 and MD8 are in the study phase.
Mr Siriphong said another two onshore blocks, PSC (production sharing contract)-G and EP-2, are in the exploration phase and PTTEP is also involved in two joint venture projects with Total and Petronas – the Yadana and Yetagun projects respectively. Yadana went into operation in July 1998 and Yetagun in April 2000.
PSC-G covers 13,330 square kilometres and EP-2 1,345 square kilometres, respectively, in central Myanmar.
Natural gas from Thailand supplies about 21 percent of Thailand’s total energy demand, he said.
Mr Siriphong said PTTEP regards Myanmar as being one of its growth hubs, along with other Southeast Asian countries, Australia, East Africa and North America.
Asked about competition from Western hydrocarbons companies, Mr Siriphong said PTTEP regarded other oil and gas firms as friends and potential partners.
Mr Siriphong said PTTEP had a contingency plan for its domestic and international operations and had suffered no interruption because of the political instability in Thailand.