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  1. #1
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    Thailand Energy : More reliance on Burma

    More reliance on Burma
    30/07/2010

    Thailand expects to buy more gas and electricity from Burma in order to secure supplies as domestic resources become depleted, says Energy Minister Wannarat Channukul.

    Thailand has been buying gas from Burma since the late 1990s. The Yadana and Yetagun offshore gas fields have an output of 400 and 565 million cubic feet per day (mmscfd) respectively.

    In three years Thailand will begin receiving supplies from the new Sawtika Block or M9. PTT Plc, Thailand's sole natural gas seller, will sign a natural gas purchase contract today with Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) in Burma's capital city Naypyidaw.

    Under the contract, Thailand will receive gas from M9 at a rate of 240 mmscfd, equal to 2.4 billion litres of oil per day, by the end of 2013. Gas from M9 will mainly be used by the transport sector.

    The PTT subsidiary PTT Exploration and Production Plc, the production operator of M9, hopes to gain exploration and production rights for Burma's other new petroleum blocks such as M3, M4, M7 and M11.

    Mr Wannarat said that if the two countries could agree on a plan, Burmese natural gas would serve demand in Thailand over the next 10 years as petroleum resources in the Gulf of Thailand gradually dwindle. Domestic reserves will last only another 23 years, he estimated.

    Pornchai Rujiprapha, the permanent secretary of the Energy Ministry, said Thailand also hoped to buy more hydroelectric power from Burma's Salween River. There is potential to build two hydropower plants on the river: the 1,200-megawatt Hat Gyi Dam and the 7,000-MW Tasang Dam.

    In 2006, Sinohydro signed a memorandum of understanding with Burma for the US$1-billion Hat Gyi dam located along the Thai-Burma border. Negotiations over the shareholding structure of the project's developer are expected to conclude in May next year.

    Permsak Shevawattananon, PTT's senior executive vice-president for natural gas business, said PTT had to seek more gas reserves due to a projected rise in Thai demand to 4,821 mmscfd in 2014 and 5,542 mmscfd in 2020 from 3,900 at present.

    "Demand for gas is rising not only in power and industrial sectors but also in transport so we need to find more resources overseas," said Mr Permsak.

    In the future if nuclear- and coal-fired power plants cannot start construction due to community fears over environmental issues, then even more reserves would be needed, he added.

    bangkokpost.com
    Last edited by Mid; 31-07-2010 at 11:14 AM. Reason: formatting

  2. #2
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    Thai state energy giant buys 30 years of gas from junta
    Perry Santanachote
    Saturday, 31 July 2010

    Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Thailand’s sole purveyor of natural gas, PTT, in Naypyidaw today signed a 30-year gas sales deal with affiliate PTT Exploration and Production and the junta-run Myanma (sic) Oil and Gas Enterprise, the Thai energy minister told a press conference in Bangkok.

    Activists however continue to call on firms to pull out of providing such material support to the Burmese regime, which engages in widespread human rights abuses.

    PTT Public Company Limited (PTT) signed the agreement with its subsidiary PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) for gas from the Zawtika field at the offshore Block M9 and part of Block M11 in the Gulf of Martaban, 185 miles (300 kilometres) south of Rangoon. State-controlled PTTEP will begin extractions in 2013, Thai Energy Minister Dr. Wannarat Channukul told a press gathering on Thursday.

    The Institute of Developing Economies (IDE), a non-profit research group based in Japan, reported that natural gas exports in Burma amounted to US$2.5 million in the fiscal year 2007-2008, which was 40 per cent of the country’s total exports. The increase in foreign reserves that same year amounted to more than US$1 billion. The export of natural gas to Thailand in 2007 was estimated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to account for 55 per cent of the military junta’s revenue.

    PTTEP was expected to supply an initial 240 million cubic feet per day (mmscfd) to Thailand and another 60 million mmscfd to Burma, according to Wannarat. The field has an estimated reserve of 1.4 trillion cubic feet.

    Wannarat said the increased output would raise Thailand’s gas imports from Burma to 1.2 billion cubic feet per day and plans were under way to lengthen the Trans-Asean gas pipeline by 137 miles. He also stated the new supply would help reduce imports of bunker oil by about 2.4 billion litres a year and save the country about 400 billion baht annually.

    “This is good news for Thailand as PTT has succeeded in finding an overseas energy source to ensure energy security for the country,” he said.

    PTT currently buys natural gas under 10 agreements onshore and offshore in Thailand and two agreements from Yadana and Yetagun in Burma. The offshore gas fields in Burma have an output of 400 and 565 mmscfd respectively.

    Thailand’s consumption of natural gas has seen steady yearly increases. Thais used 3,564 mmscfd last year, more than double the amount in 1999, the Energy Policy and Planning Office said, and paid Burma 84.2 billion baht (US$2.6 billion) for 30 per cent of it.

    International campaigns continue to call on foreign companies to withdraw from Burma because of the ruling military junta’s human rights violations, which research shows the companies are complicit in because of tax revenues paid to the military government.

    The Free Burma Movement, a coalition of human rights, pro-democracy and corporate responsibility advocates, particularly targets oil and gas companies.

    Earth Rights International, the NGO most famous for using American courts to sue Unocal (now Chevron) for its complicity in murder, rape, torture, and forced labour during the construction of the Yadana gas pipeline in Burma, released a new report early this month linking the huge profits the Burmese regime received from gas projects led or managed by Total, Chevron and PTTEP to the junta’s secretive nuclear activities.

    Last year Earth Rights International (ERI), citing confidential sources, accused the Burmese regime of using secret bank accounts in Singapore to hide of billion dollars in revenue it had received from the gas projects. ERI said early this month that that revenues from the gas project continued to be kept in Singapore and were neither included in Burma’s normal budget nor spent on the Burmese people.

    Referring to allegations made by a prominent defector from the military’s weapons programme reported by DVB last month that the Burmese regime had sought nuclear and missile technology from Kim Jong-il’s increasingly isolated regime in North Korea, ERI said that instead of being used to pay for education and health care the funds had “enabled the country’s autocratic junta to maintain power and pursue an expensive, illegal nuclear weapons programme while participating in illicit weapons trade in collaboration with North Korea, threatening the domestic and regional security balance”.

    Using documents released as part of ERI’s lengthy legal battle with the multinational firms operating in Burma and the latest market prices for natural gas, ERI stated in the new report titled, “Energy Security: How Total, Chevron, and PTTEP Contribute to Human Rights Violations, Financial Secrecy, and Nuclear Proliferation in Burma”, that from 1998 to last year the Burmese regime had received nearly US$5 billion (around US$416 million per year) from the multinational gas project, which it pointed out were led by two western firms, France’s Total and American Chevron.

    Reports such as this and awareness campaigns by advocacy groups such as the Free Burma movement had attained some success in shedding light on the human impact such business involvement and gas purchases have, Nicky Black, author of Blood Money: Corporate Citizenship and the Oil and Gas Sector in Myanmar, said.

    “Divestment campaigns have been highly successful at raising the international profile of the democracy movement in Myanmar [Burma],” Black said. “Through powerful, strategic public campaigns, they have made it illegal, through their role in encouraging formal sanctions, or reputationally untenable, for the majority of Western companies to invest in Myanmar [Burma].”

    The Free Burma Movement has been less successful in discouraging investment by companies from Asian countries. Black’s report states that in 1999 an equal number of companies from the West and the East were involved in oil and gas development. Last year, 27 of the 30 companies involved were from Asia and Russia.

    Mark Farmaner, director of rights advocacy group Burma Campaign UK, said the circumstances and political will that propelled Western companies to bend to social responsibility were almost non-existent in Asia.

    “In Western countries questions of corporate social responsibility are well known and there is strong public, political and media interest in them,” Farmaner said. “In many Asian countries you don’t have this interest or strong civil society groups engaging in these issues, so companies in Asia don’t feel that pressure.”

    mizzima.com
    Last edited by Mid; 31-07-2010 at 05:51 PM. Reason: formatting

  3. #3
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    New US Law Could Force PTTEP Disclosure
    SIMON ROUGHNEEN
    Saturday, July 31, 2010

    As Thailand's national petroleum and exploration company PTTEP inks a new deal to acquire gas from the M9 field off the coast of Burma, new US legislation may force disclosure from energy companies investing in the military-run country, including PTTEP.

    Thailand's Energy Minister Wannarat Channukul is in Burma today for the signing of an agreement to purchase gas from M9, also known as Sawtika. He said that Thailand will rely on Burma more and more for energy needs as Thailand's own petroleum reserves are run down over the coming 23 years.

    However, on July 15, the US Congress passed what may prove to be landmark transparency legislation as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This will require oil, gas, and mining companies registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to publicly disclose their payments to governments for the extraction of natural resources on an annual basis.

    The new law covers 90 percent of the major internationally operating and 12 of the top 15 Fortune-ranked oil and gas companies. According to Senators Ben Cardin (Democrat) and Richard Lugar (Republican), who mooted the inclusion of the provisions in the broader act, the tools are now available “to help people in resource-rich countries hold their leaders accountable for the money made from their oil, gas and minerals.”

    It is not certain at present whether or not this will ultimately oblige PTTEP to disclose payments made to the Burmese junta. This will depend in part on the outcome of the rules under the law, which will be ironed out over the course of this year. The same applies to some of the other investors in Burma's energy sector, such as Daewoo, Petrochina and CNPC.

    However, Chevron will have to disclose under the terms of the law, and it is thought likely that Total will also, which could shed light on PTTEP payments to the Burmese government for the Yadana field, as all three companies are stakeholders in the Yadana gas project. PTTEP is also a stakeholder in the Yetagun field, buying gas from Premier Oil. China National Offshore Oil Corporation, which has significant investments in Burma, is also likely to be covered by the law.

    Present law states that when companies fail to comply with SEC regulations in general, the US can delist the offender, an outcome which most businesses would likely find unpalatable.

    Previously, EarthRights International (ERI) requested that PTTEP, along with Total and Chevron, disclose payments made to the Burmese military junta since the Yadana project came on stream. ERI says that all three companies responded to the request but without providing any detail on payments made. Matthew Smith of ERI told The Irrawaddy that the responses to date “do not address any of the fundamental concerns we have with regard to Yadana, on human rights or on transparency.”

    Asked about payments to the Burmese regime, a PTTEP spokesperson told The Irrawaddy that the company “adheres to our codes of business conduct which encompass monetary transparency and is reflected in our participation to the disclosure of actual financial information to multi-stakeholders as guided by the applicable laws. We also strictly comply to the contractual obligations of the projects in the host countries where we operate.”

    The Yadana project has generated more than US $9 billion since it came on stream in 2000. According to ERI, Burma’s ruling junta has pocketed more than $5 billion of this, the majority of which may have been squirreled away in Singaporean banks, transactions which the junta has sought to obfuscate by using an outdated and vastly undervalued exchange rate.

    According to a 2009 report by the International Monetary Fund, this revenue “contributed less than 1 percent of total budget revenue in 2007/08, but would have contributed about 57 percent if valued at the market exchange rate.”

    The upshot is that the revenue does not appear in official statements about how much money the junta has at its disposal and is creating a false picture about the lack of social spending in Burma. A 2006 estimate of the child mortality rate in eastern Burma was 221 per 1,000, higher than the 205 recorded in the war-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo. The World Health Organization ranks Burma’s health system as the second worst on the planet, while according to UNICEF more than 25 percent of the population lacks access to potable water.

    According to Senators Carbin and Lugar, “If citizens and international organizations know how much money a country is paid for oil access, it is harder for its leader to claim the government would happily build roads, schools and hospitals but cannot afford them.”

    Thailand's growing energy needs are drawing it to other controversial projects inside Burma.

    Bangkok hopes to purchase additional hydroelectric power from two mooted dam projects on the Salween River inside Burma—the 1200 MW Hat Gyi dam and the 7000 MW Tasang dam. The Salween projects and the M9 deal raise questions not only about corporate transparency and human rights issues, but also about apparent contradictions in Thailand's broader policy toward Burma.

    Tawin Pleansiri, the secretary-general of Thailand's National Security Council (NSC), was quoted by the Thai News Service yesterday as saying that conditions for Burmese refugees to return home “would probably be after the general elections take place” sometime later this year.

    However, Debbie Stothard of the NGO Altsean told The Irrawaddy that “overall, this is illogical, as giving the (Burmese) regime more funds means giving them the means to carry out more of the human rights abuses that have forced more displaced civilians to flee to Thailand.”

    Thailand's reliance on Burma as a source of energy could also, ironically, be exposing it to security threats from its western neighbor.

    At the Asean Regional Forum meeting in Hanoi last week, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya stated his concern about allegations that Burma was developing nuclear weapons and engaging in UN Security Council-defying weapons trading with North Korea. But in a documentary that aired on the Al Jazeera news network in June, defectors from Burma said that gas and oil revenues from Thailand have given the junta the financial resources necessary to increase military spending.

    The income available to the ruling generals is set to increase dramatically in the coming years, not only with M9, but also with the vast Shwe gas field. The latter will generate an estimated $1 billion per year in revenue for the Burmese military government.

    ERI and others have raised questions about human rights abuses carried out in the process of pipeline construction and maintenance in Burma. In response to these concerns, a PTTEP spokesperson told The Irrawaddy that the company “conducts business as a responsible corporate entity and we strongly support human rights where we operate,” adding that PTTEP is involved in healthcare and educational initiatives along the Yadana route.

    Under fierce pressure from human rights groups, energy companies working on Yadana may well be working to improve living conditions for those living nearby, according to a Burma-based representative of an international organization, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    rrawaddy.org

  4. #4
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    Thailand seen buying more natural gas from Myanmar

    * To buy at least 2 bln cf/d natgas from Myanmar over 20 yrs

    * Thailand seeks Myanmar petroleum exploration rights

    Dec 20 (Reuters) - Thailand is expected to buy at least 2 billion cubic feet per day (cf/d) of natural gas from resource-rich Myanmar over the next 20 years to meet rising energy demand, an energy ministry official said on Tuesday.

    Songpob Polchan, Director-General of the Department of Mineral Fuels, said Thailand was now using about 1.1 billion cf/d of natural gas, accounting for 25 percent of the country's 4 billion cf/d energy demand, mostly for power generation.

    "Electricity demand in Thailand is rising amid limited gas volumes available now in the Gulf of Thailand and we expect the trend will lessen in the future," Songpob told reporters.

    Thailand has been talking with neighbouring countries including Myanmar and Cambodia to seek more cooperation in petroleum exploration and production.

    It is seeking more concessions for petroleum exploration for its top energy firm PTT Pcl and Thai Energy Minister Pichai Naripthanphan, who accompanied Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra during a Dec. 18-20 visit to former British colony, is meeting with Burmese Energy Minister to discuss potential oil deals.

    State-controlled PTT group has expressed interest in investing in three petroleum blocks, one onshore and two offshore MD7 and MD8, in Myanmar.

    PTT's subsidiary, PTT Exploration and Production Pcl , has said it wants to join bids for 2-3 blocks of the total 18 to be opened by Myanmar government.

    Songpob said cost for a deep sea petroleum exploration was usually very high with an estimate of up to 2-3 billion baht ($64-96 million) per well while well exploration in the Gulf of Thailand could cost up to $3-5 million each.

    PTTEP, a flagship in the upstream petroleum exploration business of PTT, has about 40 oil and gas exploration and development projects now. It has four projects in Myanmar and is a minority partner in the Yetagun and Yadana gas developments.

    Myanmar natural gas accounts for about 30 percent of Thailand's consumption, mostly in power generation.

    Hopes of economic reforms and foreign investment opportunities are running high three weeks after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's landmark visit.

    ($1 = 31.30 Baht)

    (Reporting by Ploy Ten Kate; editing by James Jukwey)

    reuters.com

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    Thailand wins oil-drilling rights in Burma

    Thailand wins oil-drilling rights in Burma

    Thailand wins oil-drilling rights in Burma

    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 16:47
    Mizzima News

    (Mizzima) – Thailand has learned that its largest petroleum company has won bids for two onshore petroleum blocks in Burma.


    Oil and gas exploration bids were taken on 18 inland blocks in central Burma. Photo: Mizzima



    The PTT Exploration and Production Plc. (PTTEP) was told it won two bids out of a total of 18 blocks offered to foreign oil companies, Thai Energy Minister Pica Naripthanphan said on Wednesday, Reuter’s news agency reported.

    "We won two, that's for sure," Pichai told reporters after a visit to Burma, adding the blocks were close to the capital, Naypyitaw. He said the news has not been officially announced. Winning companies would be required to set up joint ventures with local companies.

    The news came at the end of an official visit by Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to take part in the 4th Mekong Sub-Region Summit.

    Pichai said he also discussed interest in investing in the offshore MD7 and MD8 fields.

    Thailand and Myanmar have tentatively agreed to invest in a gas separation plant in Myanmar over the long term, he said.

    China, Thailand, India and Singapore are the most active investors in Burma, which is in a process of opening up to international investments.

    PTTEP, a flagship in the petroleum exploration business of PTT, has four projects in Burma and is a minority partner in the Yetagun and Yadana gas developments.

    In addition, Thai companies are leading a huge project in Dawei in the country’s south to build a port and an economic zone, including pipelines to transport energy to Thailand

    There are 47 oil and natural gas production blocks in inland Burma. China, which is extracting oil and gas in 23 of the 47 inland blocks, is the largest investor; Malaysia is the second largest.

    If a company finds a productive field, it must then apply for a production permit granted by the ministry to extract oil and natural gas.

    "After the agreement, in a case where the companies find productive fields, the government and the companies will need to negotiate to determine how much in profits must be given to the government and the amount of a cash award," said a Burmese official.

    There is only one Burmese oil company, Myanmar Petroleum Resources Limited, which is owned by Michael Moe Myint. The Htoo Company owned by businessmen Tay Za and Nay Aung, who is the son of former Industry No. 1 Minister Aung Thaung, are shareholders in foreign oil and gas companies, according to sources close to the Ministry of Energy.

    Currently, Burma’s inland blocks are producing more than 9,300 crude oil barrels a day and more than 100 million cubic feet of natural gas a day. The Yadana and Yetagun offshore natural gas blocks are producing more than 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day.

    According statements by the Ministry of Energy, there are a total of 0.46 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the inland area in Burma and 17 trillion cubic feet in offshore blocks.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

  6. #6
    Mid
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog View Post
    Thailand wins oil-drilling rights in Burma

    Thailand wins oil-drilling rights in Burma

    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 16:47
    Mizzima News

    (Mizzima) – Thailand has learned that its largest petroleum company has won bids for two onshore petroleum blocks in Burma.


    Oil and gas exploration bids were taken on 18 inland blocks in central Burma. Photo: Mizzima



    The PTT Exploration and Production Plc. (PTTEP) was told it won two bids out of a total of 18 blocks offered to foreign oil companies, Thai Energy Minister Pica Naripthanphan said on Wednesday, Reuter’s news agency reported.

    "We won two, that's for sure," Pichai told reporters after a visit to Burma, adding the blocks were close to the capital, Naypyitaw. He said the news has not been officially announced. Winning companies would be required to set up joint ventures with local companies.

    The news came at the end of an official visit by Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to take part in the 4th Mekong Sub-Region Summit.

    Pichai said he also discussed interest in investing in the offshore MD7 and MD8 fields.

    Thailand and Myanmar have tentatively agreed to invest in a gas separation plant in Myanmar over the long term, he said.

    China, Thailand, India and Singapore are the most active investors in Burma, which is in a process of opening up to international investments.

    PTTEP, a flagship in the petroleum exploration business of PTT, has four projects in Burma and is a minority partner in the Yetagun and Yadana gas developments.

    In addition, Thai companies are leading a huge project in Dawei in the country’s south to build a port and an economic zone, including pipelines to transport energy to Thailand

    There are 47 oil and natural gas production blocks in inland Burma. China, which is extracting oil and gas in 23 of the 47 inland blocks, is the largest investor; Malaysia is the second largest.

    If a company finds a productive field, it must then apply for a production permit granted by the ministry to extract oil and natural gas.

    "After the agreement, in a case where the companies find productive fields, the government and the companies will need to negotiate to determine how much in profits must be given to the government and the amount of a cash award," said a Burmese official.

    There is only one Burmese oil company, Myanmar Petroleum Resources Limited, which is owned by Michael Moe Myint. The Htoo Company owned by businessmen Tay Za and Nay Aung, who is the son of former Industry No. 1 Minister Aung Thaung, are shareholders in foreign oil and gas companies, according to sources close to the Ministry of Energy.

    Currently, Burma’s inland blocks are producing more than 9,300 crude oil barrels a day and more than 100 million cubic feet of natural gas a day. The Yadana and Yetagun offshore natural gas blocks are producing more than 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day.

    According statements by the Ministry of Energy, there are a total of 0.46 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the inland area in Burma and 17 trillion cubic feet in offshore blocks.
    .....

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    Burma ready to sign petroleum concession : Surapong - The Nation

    Burma ready to sign petroleum concession : Surapong

    Supalak Ganjanakhundee December 27, 2011 1:33 pm


    New Delhi - Good relations with Burma and recognition of mutual benefits have yielded fast results as Naypyidaw has agreed to sign the petroleum concession with PTTEP shortly after New Year, Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said on Tuesday.


    He denied that former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra had been in any way involved.

    Surapong and energy minister Pichai Naripthaphan discussed the matter with Burma's energy minister Than Htay in Naypyidaw when they accompanied Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to the 4th summit of Greater Mekong Sub-region last week.

    The Burmese energy authority informed Thailand by phone over the weekend that it was ready and that the PTT Exploration and Production Co should go to sign the concession contract on natural gas in block M3 by January 5-6, Surapong said.

    Surapong said he did not know the details of the concession contract that the Thai company would sign. Energy minister Pichai would witness the signing ceremony.

    Block M3, is located in the Gulf of Martaban south of Rangoon, contains good quality natural gas, the by-product of which could be used in the petrochemical industry, he said.

    Opposition Democrat Party alleged that former Prime Minister Thaksin, who was in Burma shortly before Yingluck's visit, helped in paving the way for the signing of concession contract. Thaksin has a personal interest in the gas deal, the party said.

    Surapong said Thaksin has nothing to do with the negotiations and that it was his government who had been able to convince the Burmese counterpart to reach agreement.

    Thailand could help Burma to develop its petrochemical industry by using by-products of the natural gas from block M3, he said. The government would invite representatives from Burma to study the petrochemical industry in Thailand, he said.

    In fact, the PTTEP has been dealing with Burma on the gas concession for a long time but no progress had been made during the previous government's term due to cold relations between the two countries, Surapong said.

    "Former Prime Minister Thaksin has no stake in the deal. If the Democrats can prove he has any interests in the concession, I would ask him to hand over the stakes to them," Surapong said. "Otherwise, they should stop such allegations, which hurt the national interest."

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    PTTEP seeks Burma partners
    Friday, 20 January 2012

    (Mizzima) – PTTEP, Thailand’s state-owned oil company, wants to sell stakes in the M11 field off Burma’s coast in February.

    “We are looking to find two partners to come in for investment in M11 but, that being said, we will still have to hold a 40-50 per cent stake and be a major shareholder,” Reuters quoted PTTEP chief Anon Sirisaengtaksin telling reporters on Thursday.

    PTTEP has four exploration and production projects in Burma including Yadana, Yetagun, Zawtika and Block M3, M7 and M11, where it holds 100 per cent interest.

    Anon said PTTEP would be able to sign contracts for two fields in Burma in February.

    mizzima.com

  9. #9
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    I cannot but help that this close friendship between burma and thailand is going to end in tears and its not going to be burma thats crying.

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    Myanmar has no plans to boost gas exports beyond 2013
    (Reporting by Jason Szep; Editing by Alan Raybould, Simon Webb and Michael Urquhart)
    Fri, Jan 27, 2012

    NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (Reuters) - Myanmar will keep natural gas from new projects beyond 2013 for domestic consumption, a shift of policy aimed at powering its development, the country's energy minister said on Friday.

    Myanmar has opened up to the outside world with astonishing speed since a civilian government took office last March after five decades of army rule. The prospect of the end of Western sanctions has prompted a surge of interest from investors.

    Speaking to Reuters in his first interview with foreign media, Minister of Energy Than Htay pegged the country's natural gas reserves at 22.5 trillion cubic feet, almost double the 11.8 trillion cubic feet estimated by BP in its 2011 statistical review. Statistical Review of World Energy 2011 | BP

    "Now we are developing, we need more energy, so we won't sell our natural gas abroad, we will use it ourself," Than said in an interview in the capital, Naypyitaw.

    Existing plans to supply gas to China and boost exports to Thailand would be honoured, he said.

    A pipeline to pump 400 million cubic feet of gas to China is on schedule to start in 2013.

    Myanmar already supplies 1.2 billion cubic feet to Thailand daily, the minister said, and would add another 300 million cubic feet per day from the early stages of a project at the Zawtika gas field.

    Than ruled out supplying natural gas to an ambitious deep-sea port and special economic zone in Dawei that has the potential to transform a section of southern Myanmar into Southeast Asia's biggest industrial complex.

    Italian-Thai Development Pcl , the company developing the first $8.5 billion phase of the Dawei project, had hoped natural gas piped from nearby fields would provide an alternative fuel after the government this month halted construction of a 4,000 megawatt coal-fired power plant, citing environmental concerns.

    The minister said three other special economic zones would be developed more quickly than Dawei, citing in particular two: Thilawa, south of Yangon, and Kyaukphyu, on the Bay of Bengal, where the China-Myanmar pipeline starts.

    He said the government was now considering supplying electricity to the Kyaukphyu zone.

    moneycontrol.com

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    Protesters Released as Blackout Marches Spread
    LAWI WENG
    May 22, 2012


    More than 1,000 people protest against power shortages in Mandalay on Sunday night.

    (Photo: Thu Rain)

    Around 40 protest leaders have been released by Burma’s Special Branch after they were arrested on Tuesday morning in the wake of mass power blackout demonstrations which continue to spread across the country.

    More than 1,000 people took to the streets of Burma’s second largest city to demand 24-hour electricity in a protest movement which has since spread across the region.

    Nyi Pu Lay, a well known Burmese writer, was released by authorities after spending two hours at the Special Branch office.

    “[The police] asked me who the main person was behind this protest,” he told The Irrawaddy. “They told me their chief minister from the Ministry of Electric Power wanted to meet and talk to the protest’s other main leaders.

    “I told them no one was behind this protest,” he added.

    While the government has recently permitted public demonstrations to take place, the local authorities must be given five days notice—which the weekend event did not provide—with a penalty of one year imprisonment for transgressors.

    The demonstration has now spread to other parts of the country such as Dala Township, in Rangoon, Monywa, in Sagaing Division, and Prome, in Pegu Division. Burma’s state-run media reported on Tuesday that the country produces less power in the summer as there is reduced available water. Reports urged citizens to cooperate with the government in order to save energy.

    Around 1,500 people held their second march in Mandalay on Monday with further demonstrations planned over the next few days. The protests are the country’s largest since the 2007 Saffron Revolution which was brutally crushed by the ruling junta.

    “More people are getting involved now,” said Ko Ko Lay who participated in the event. “We protested at three locations yesterday and there were around 1,500 people involved.”

    Campaigners gathered in front of the Sedona Hotel, where many foreigners stay, as well as the city’s main power station and the Chinese embassy—the latter to protest against the Beijing government buying power from Burma while domestic supplies remain lacking.

    “We are waiting to hear from the government so they can come and talk to us,” said Ko Ko Lay. “They need to fulfill our basic needs as they are supposed to be in charge.”

    Protestors held lit candles as they processed down Mandalay’s historic streets shouting, “We need 24 hours power supply.”

    The city’s residents told The Irrawaddy that they urgently need water and power as otherwise it is difficult to go about their daily lives. Around 1,000 people were involved at the first day of protests in Mandalay on Sunday.

    Some officials from Ministry of Electric Power-2 (MEP-2) came to Mandalay yesterday and held a press conference.

    “We are not the authorities, we are a service department. We never store power to use it later,” said Aung Than Oo, the deputy minister of MEP-2, according to the Facebook page of Burmese journalist Aung Shin.

    Aung Shin said that the press conference was told that a dozen-or-so generators have been brought up from Naypyidaw to supply water as a priority. The authorities also said that the government plans to solve power shortages, which occur every summer, but that the matter may have to wait until after next year.

    Aung Shin reported that some of those at the meeting asked whether the Ministry of Electric Power-1 (MEP-1) had been asked to share some of its power supply, but no answer was given.

    Myint Aung, the director of MEP-2, reportedly made light of the blackout issue by joking, “We need to hold more ceremonies for pray for more rain to fall.”

    MEP-1 is the main power supplier in Burma and sell one unit of electricity for 20 kyat, while the MEP-2 sells the same amount for 35 kyat. MEP-1 is led by Zaw Min, the chief minister of electric power in Burma.

    MEP-1 controls 19 power plants in all different parts of the country that generate electricity from water, but much of this is then sold abroad.

    Mandalay currently requires 150 megawatts of electricity, but the power authorities are only able to supply 100 megawatts. The current rationing of power means that only six hours of power is available to different parts of the city at any one time—amounting to 65 megawatts.

    Naypyidaw has asked Japan and South Korea for help building two power complexes just outside Rangoon to help rectify Burma’s electricity shortage.

    The Japanese-built coal plant will aim to produce 600 megawatts and take three-to-four years to build, while the gas-fuelled South Korean plant will generate 500 megawatts and be operational within a year.

    Burma is notorious for power blackouts and hundreds of businesses, from backyard enterprises to major hotels and factories, must use their own generators fueled by expensive imported diesel.

    Under the military junta that ruled until last year, much of the country’s electricity was sold to neighboring China and Thailand.

    irrawaddy.org

  12. #12
    Mid
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid

    PTTEP seeks Burma partners Friday, 20 January 2012

    (Mizzima) – PTTEP, Thailand’s state-owned oil company, wants to sell stakes in the M11 field off Burma’s coast in February.
    Total, Nippon Ignore Transparency Gripe in Offshore Gas
    WILLIAM BOOT
    September 8, 2012

    Two major oil companies have thrown caution to the wind by joining Thailand’s exploration and production firm PTTEP in a major Burmese offshore gas field.

    Total of France and Japan’s Nippon Oil announced on Sept. 3 that they will take stakes in the big M11 block in the Gulf of Martaban off Burma’s southeast coast.

    The size of their investment has not been disclosed, but PTTEP has previously said that exploitation of the estimated 50 billion cubic meters of gas will cost at least US $1 billion.

    PTTEP has held the block alone for two years and until now had failed to attract co-investors, in spite of interest from a number of big oil businesses such as China National Offshore Oil Corporation.

    The Thai state-owned company’s Chief Executive Tevin Vongvanich said bringing in partners was to “manage investment risks especially for deep-water exploration.”

    PTTEP will remain the chief operator of the field with the biggest stake.

    The surprise investment by Total and Nippon comes as Burma’s Ministry of Energy announced this week it was postponing an auction of 20 or more offshore and onshore oil and gas blocks until the industry become more transparent.

    An unidentified ministry official was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying the ministry had been petitioned by Western firms—including ConocoPhillips, Hess Corporation of the US, Royal Dutch Shell, and BP—who are “very strict about international standards like transparency, environmental, social and biodiversity impacts.”

    The ministry had been expected to invited bids for the blocks during the Sept. 3-6 oil and gas forum held in Rangoon. Some of the events at the forum were sponsored by Shell and ConocoPhillips.

    The auction might take place before the end of this year.

    irrawaddy.org

  13. #13
    Mid
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    Myanmar seeks to cut gas exports to Thailand to meet own needs
    Imaduddin
    Thursday, 04 October 2012



    YANGON: Myanmar wants to renegotiate natural gas export deals with neighbouring Thailand, a senior Energy Ministry official said, as the country maps out ways to tackle crippling domestic power shortages and reassure potential investors.

    Myanmar's government is hoping to reach an agreement to retain 200 million cubic feet per day of natural gas from the 1 billion cubic feet per day it currently exports to Thailand, which comes mainly from offshore blocks, the official added.

    "Under the original contract, we are entitled to buy 20-25 percent of the gas at the local price for domestic use," the ministry official told Reuters, requesting anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

    Under a military junta that ceded power in March 2011, Myanmar agreed dozens of contracts with energy firms to export most of its oil, gas and hydropower output to neighbouring China and Thailand.

    The current reform-minded administration has recognised the urgent need to deal with power shortages in a county where 75 percent of the population have no regular access to electricity. Experts say constructing new gas-fuelled plants is the fastest way to meet growing demand.

    "There was not the demand inside the country in the past, so we didn't claim that (buy-back) right. But demand is growing speedily now due to changes in economic policies," the ministry official said.

    With a foreign investment law expected to be approved by year-end and most Western sanctions suspended in recognition of Myanmar's liberalisation, the government is keen to harness its resources to fuel economic expansion.

    But the existing power grid is dilapidated, cities have regular outages and investors interested in setting up factories in Myanmar would face uncertainty because of the limited number of power plants in operation.

    Myanmar's natural gas reserves, which the government estimates to range between 11 trillion and 23 trillion cubic feet, meet about 30 percent of Thailand's consumption, mostly for power generation.

    Thailand imports Burmese gas through its top energy firm, state-controlled PTT Pcl. PTT chief executive, Tevin Vongvanich, said the two countries were working to ensure there were mutual benefits from existing and future deals.

    "Thailand and Myanmar are cooperating to meet domestic natural gas demand for both countries," he told Reuters on Thursday.

    "What we produce that is beyond Thailand's needs, we will give to Myanmar. There has been no change or renegotiation of any existing contracts."

    Tevin could not confirm there was a "buy-back" clause in contracts, as the Myanmar official stated.

    According to its Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), Myanmar exported $3.5 billion worth of gas, mainly to Thailand, in the fiscal 2011/12 (April-March), compared with $2.52 billion a year before and $2.38 billion in 2008-2009.

    brecorder.com

  14. #14
    Mid
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    Chinese Firm Renews Interest in Sagaing Coal Power Station
    WILLIAM BOOT
    Saturday, June 1, 2013

    One of China’s big five state-owned electricity firms, China Guodian Corporation, has renewed its interest in building a coal-fueled power plant in northwest Burma.

    Guodian won a concession in 2010 to develop a large 600-megawatt power station in the Kalewa area of Sagaing Division, plus a hydroelectric dam at Mawlaik.

    There has not yet been any development on either project, with the local authorities canvassing for support for the coal power station.

    However, according to the local National League for Democracy (NLD) office, no environmental impact assessment studies have been conducted for the projects.

    A coal mine at Kalewa operated by a Burmese government agency produces about 13,000 tons per year, according to a recent US Geological Survey. Industry analysts say this would not be sufficient to fuel a 600-MW capacity power station.

    irrawaddy.org

  15. #15
    Mid
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    Thai firm strikes gas in Burma
    16 August 2013


    A boy does a handstand on a beach outside Pyar Pon Township where ships involved in the construction of a Yadana underwater gas pipeline project are anchored in the background.
    (Reuters)

    Thai state-owned firm PTT Exploration & Production (PTTEP) has successfully drilled gas in three of its four wells in Burma’s offshore M3 Block, industry sites announced on Friday.

    The wells Aung Sinkha-3, Aung Sinkha-4, Aung Sinkha-5 and Aung Sinkha-6 were drilled between February and August, according to the website of Natural Gas Asia.

    Wells 3, 5 and 6 were confirmed by PTTEP as flowing while the fourth Aung Sinkha well was reported to have hit gas but was unable to test further because of technical complications.

    Oil and gas magazine Upstream quoted the Thai firm on Friday saying that the Aung Sinkha-3 well flowed at a rate of 34.5 million cubic feet per day with associated condensate of 195 barrels per day.

    “The Aung Sinkha-5 well flowed at 9 MMcfd, while the Aung Sinkha-6 well flowed at 14 MMcfd plus associated condensate of 1820 bpd,” it said.

    “A fourth well called Aung Sinkha-4 hit gas but was unable to be tested because the equipment necessary for acidising limestone reservoirs could not be prepared, said PTTEP.”

    Upstream quoted PTTEP as saying that it plans to drill more appraisal wells in 2014 on the Aung Sinkha field.

    PTTEP owns an 80 percent operating interest in Block M3 with Mitsui Oil Exploration holding the remaining 20 percent.

    dvb.no

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