Thailand awards 10 exploration blocks

(By an OGJ correspondent
BANGKOK, Dec 18 -- Thailand has awarded 10 exploration blocks to seven groups, including Chevron Petroleum Thailand Co. and Mitsui Oil Exploration Co., in the current bidding round of petroleum concession licensing.

The winning groups were selected from bids submitted in the first round of the 20th bidding that closed July 16 and attracted 28 international firms vying for 21 blocks (OGJ Online July 26, 2007).

The selected companies are committed to spending $79.41 million to explore their acreages over the next 3 years and another $110 million should they opt for a 6-year extension, according to the Department of Mineral Fuels.

Two awarded tracts are in the Gulf of Thailand, and eight others are onshore:

-- Offshore Block G4/50 (11,655 sq km) was awarded to Chevron and Mitsui Oil.

-- Offshore Block G9/50 (122 sq km) went to Harrods Natural Resources (Thailand) Ltd.

-- Onshore tracts L7/50 (3,906 sq km) and L13/50 (3,934 sq km), both in the Northern Intermontane basins, were awarded to Australia's Twinza Oil Ltd.

-- Tract L16/50 (3,934 sq km) in the northeast's Khorat Plateau, was granted to Tatex Thailand LLC.

-- Tract L26/50 (3,301 sq km), also on Khorat Plateau, went to UK-based Salamander Energy (E&P) Ltd.

-- Tracts L36/50 (3,970 sq km), L37/50 (3,972 sq km), and L38/50 (3,972 sq km) in Khorat Plateau were awarded to Bangkok-based Thai Petrochemical Industry Co. and TPI Polene Power Co.

-- Tract L51/50 (3,933 sq km) in the Central Plains went to Thai Petrochemical Industry Co.

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