PTTEP and its partner Kerr-McGee are scrapping exploration efforts in the Andaman Sea due to the area's poor potential, according to a statement by a PTTEP official. The concession on block W7/38, which was awarded in 1997, will be returned to the Thai government. The block covers an area of 19,000 square kilometers.
Exploration in the Andaman Sea, located off the west coast of Thailand and Myanmar, has run into difficulties due to deep waters and smaller petroleum reserves than initially thought. In 1998 PTTEP became a 15 percent partner in blockW7/38. The partners have spent about $10 million on exploration in the area in the past two years.