Thailand calls tender for exploration license bidding round

May 25, 1998
Thailand Acreage on Offer [142,808 bytes] Thailand has called a new bidding round for petroleum prospecting licenses, offering all the remaining acreage in the Gulf of Thailand and inland for tender. In all, 81 blocks covering an area of 273,270 sq km (see map, this page) are being opened for the kingdom's 17th concession bidding round, for which several foreign companies have already registered for participation. Deadline for bid application is May 27.
Thailand has called a new bidding round for petroleum prospecting licenses, offering all the remaining acreage in the Gulf of Thailand and inland for tender.

In all, 81 blocks covering an area of 273,270 sq km (see map, this page) are being opened for the kingdom's 17th concession bidding round, for which several foreign companies have already registered for participation. Deadline for bid application is May 27.

Ten of the 81 blocks available are in the Gulf of Thailand and cover a combined area of 73,650 sq km. The gulf has produced the bulk of the kingdom's petroleum resources, mostly natural gas, which last year accounted for an average 321,800 boed. That's an increase of 14.1% from the previous year.

Because Thailand is widely perceived as having limited oil potential, the focus by most companies participating in the bidding round is expected to be on natural gas.

Already registered to participate in the round, according to Thai Industry Ministry officials, are Harrods Natural Resources Inc., a firm incorporated in the U.S. and owned by Mohamed Al-Fayed, also owner of London's famed Harrod's department store; Santa Fe Energy Resources Inc., Houston; Lasmo plc, London; and Italy's state-owned Agip SpA.

Terms

The ministry will apply to this new bid round the so-called Thailand III terms, which are relatively attractive when compared with other producing countries in the region, notably Malaysia and Indonesia.

In selecting the bid, the ministry will assess the proposals according to a weight of 70% on the basis of the proposed exploration program and the amount of expenditure obligations and 30% on special benefits, such as underwriting training and education for Thais.

Last year, the ministry called for bids for petroleum prospecting licenses in the Andaman Sea. That round attracted two consortia-an alliance of Unocal Corp., Total, and Statoil; and a group of Kerr-McGee Corp., Amerada Hess Corp., and state-owned PTT Exploration & Production plc-that bid for the same tract, W7/38.

At the moment, there are 28 active concessions involving 37 exploration blocks in Thailand. Unocal has the most extensive gas exploration and production areas in the kingdom.

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