Saturday, August 25, 2007

Thailand, Burma discuss gas pipeline

SINGAPORE – Thailand and Myanmar have discussed a possibility of a joint venture for an investment in a marine pipeline construction to supply more natural gas from the M-9 field located in Myanmar.

Thai Energy Minister Piyasvasti Amranand, who is attending the 25th ASEAN Energy Ministers Meeting here, said he had discussed with his Myanmar counterpart progress in negotiations for natural gas trading between Thailand and Myanmar through a joint venture.

He said PTT Exploration and Production Plc expected it would be able to supply natural gas from the M-9 field to Thailand in late 2011 or early 2012 to accommodate higher power demand in the country.

The field has a gas reserve of more than 1.5 trillion cubic feet and is able to supply gas at a rate of around 300 million cubic feet per day.

The M-9 field development project is expected to require a total investment of US$1 billion.

Since PTTEP wants to invest in energy fields in other countries, it has invited foreign partners to join the project.

Of late, the state-owned Oman Oil Co had agreed to hold a 5 per cent stake and the Myanmar government was given the right to hold 15 per cent.

PTTEP will be the major shareholder with at least 30-40 per cent with the remaining stake to be held by other partners.

"Both countries want to see the project get off the ground as soon as possible to accommodate the increasing power demand.

"Although it remains difficult to install a marine pipeline," he said, "we believe the project will definitely be implemented in the future." (TNA)