Thai-Run Gas Field to Help Meet Burma’s Power Needs

By Kyaw Hsu Mon 28 March 2014

RANGOON — A portion of gas from an offshore field that was recently brought online by Thailand’s state-run energy firm PTT Exploration and Production will go toward use in Rangoon and Mon State, Tin Nilar Soe, a PTTEP communications officer, told The Irrawaddy on Friday.

The Zawtika gas field in the Gulf of Martaban began producing earlier this month, and its production is distributed for delivery after first passing through a receiving station run by Burma’s state-run Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) in Kanbauk, Tenasserim Division. From there, some of the gas will be used to fuel a power plant in neighboring Mon State, while other product will be piped onward to Rangoon, where it will also be used for power generation in the commercial capital.

The Zawtika supply will help provide power for industrial operations in Mon State cities such as Moulmein, Myaingalay and Thaton, and in the Sittaung region, the PTTEP spokeswoman said. A pipeline linking Kanbauk to Rangoon will supply Burma’s largest city with a portion of the Zawtika gas output as well.

“The Zawtika sale point to MOGE is at Kanbauk. MOGE is arranging with the end-user customers,” Tin Nilar Soe said.

In a press release on Monday, PTTEP said the project, in which it holds a majority 80 percent share, began sending natural gas onshore on March 14. MOGE holds the remaining 20 percent stake in the Zawtika field.

“The starting deliver rate is 50 million standard cubic feet per day [MMSCFD] and will increase the rate up to 100 million [MMSCFD] by April 2014 to meet domestic growing energy demand as well as to support the economic development of Myanmar,” the press release stated.

PTTEP is also a partner in the Yadana field operated by Total E&P Myanmar. The Yadana project last year provided gas to Burma amounting to about 150 MMSCFD and the supply recently increased to approximately 200 MMSCFD, according to Tin Nilar Soe.

“Zawtika will supply gas to Myanmar at a maximum of 100 MMSCFD,” she added.

Combined, PTTEP’s Yadana and Zawtika operations will supply Burma with about 300 MMSCFD. Zawtika is expected to produce a maximum 345 MMSCFD, of which 100 MMSCFD will be supplied to Burma and the remaining 245 MMSCFD slated for export to Thailand.

At the end of February, PTTEP, Thailand’s biggest oil and gas company, announced that it would invest US$3.3 billion in Burma over five years. PTTEP is working in four offshore blocks in the Gulf of Martaban, as well as at three onshore oil and gas projects in central Burma.

PTTEP holds a 25 percent stake in the Yadana gas field and also claims 19 percent of the Yetagun field. The two offshore natural gas projects are being developed by Total of France and Petronas of Malaysia, respectively, in partnership with MOGE.

Burma’s Ministry of Energy this week announced tender winners for the exploration of 20 offshore oil and gas blocks, which were awarded to both Western and Asian companies. PTTEP was not among winning bidders of the latest tender.