The $570 million development of Myanmar's Yetagun offshore gas field and related pipeline projects are well on course in spite of Thailand's request for a delay in purchasing the gas (OGJ, Nov. 16, 1998, p. 27).
Myanmar recently issued a report that said work related to laying of the 273-km onshore/offshore gas line to the Thai western border, installation of an offshore production facility, and arrangements to produce and sell condensate from Yetagun is on track for completion by yearend. The Yetagun project development is operated by U.K. independent Premier Oil plc, following the departure of Texaco Inc.
According to the report, laying of the 67-km onshore line from the Taninthayi coast in Myanmar's southeastern region to Kanchanaburi in Thailand started in October last year. Laying of the 206-km offshore line from Yetagun, about 270 km west of Thailand, began a month later. The report said that, so far, 42 km of the onshore stretch has been laid, while the pipelay barge DLB KPI has completed 178 km of the 24-in. offshore segment. Foreign oil executives involved in Myanmar's gas projects confirmed that Yetagun pipelaying has made significant progress. They ruled out reports suggesting that laying of the onshore section was hindered by a refusal of the Yadana gas project consortium led by Total to allow the Yetagun group to lay the pipeline along its rights of way. The Yetagun pipeline will be laid alongside Yadana's existing onshore pipeline corridor that stretches 64 km westward from the Daimensek coast in Mon state to the Thai border town of Ban I Tong, Kanchanaburi. The Yadana group's agreement with the Myanmar government obliges it to let the Yetagun project use the group's right-of-way.
Thai delayThailand's state-owned Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) has sought a postponement in taking the Yetagun gas to cushion the delay in laying a linking Thai pipeline tied to PTT's national gas grid. Thailand's so-called west-east gas line, from Ratchaburi to Wang Noi, will be crucial if PTT is to transport Yetagun gas to other Thai consumers along PTT's natural gas distribution network.
Without this connection, all the gas Thailand has contracted to buy from Yadana and Yetagun fields would end up at Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand's Ratchaburi power station, because a 260-km pipeline laid from the Thailand-Myanmar border in Kanchanaburi is already in place. But the Ratchaburi power plant, with an ultimate generating capacity of 4,600 MW, will not be able to take all the gas coming from the two Myanmar fields in the next few years.
And the 30-in., 154-km gas line from the Ratchaburi power station, about 130 km west of Bangkok to Wang Noi, Ayutthaya, about 70 km north of Bangkok, is not expected to be ready until May 2000. So that puts off by 5 months delivery of Yetagun gas to Thailand.
The 30-year deal, concluded in March 1997, called for PTT to purchase 200 MMcfd from Yetagun beginning early in 2000.
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