PTTEP's Arthit North due on stream by yearend

By an OGJ correspondent
BANGKOK, Nov. 18 -- PTT Exploration & Production PLC (PTTEP) looks set to put on stream in mid-December a sister field of Arthit, one of Thailand's largest natural gas fields.

Arthit North, northwest of the main Arthit gas field 700 km south of Bangkok in the Gulf of Thailand, initially will produce 90 MMcfd of gas before increasing to 120 MMcfd later.

With estimated mean gas reserves of about 200 bcf, Arthit North is expected to produce for 3 years at an average plateau rate of 120 MMcfd, PTTEP officials said. Arthit North was not part of Arthit field's original development plan but was seen as a supplementary producer to meet the surge in domestic gas demand during 2009-10.

Development of Arthit North, estimated to cost about $250 million, began in 2006. Development includes installation of three well-head platforms and the drilling of 27 development wells.

Arthit North gas will be produced through a floating processing vessel before being fed to the offshore gas grid operated by PTTEP's parent firm, the Thai state-controlled energy group PTT PLC.

The main Arthit field, which cost PTTEP $1 billion to develop, commenced production in April and now produces 365 MMcfd of gas and 19,000 b/d of condensate. Its mean reserves are put at 1.9 tcf.

Its current output contributes to about 10% of Thailand's gas consumption, and delivery is expected to continue for at least 20 years.

PTTEP is operator with an 80% stake in the 3,682-sq-km Arthit project in which Chevron Thailand Exploration & Production has a 16% share and MOECo Thailand, part of Japan's Mitsui Oil Exploration, has 4%.

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