Thailand Awards Four Petroleum Concessions

BANGKOK Jan 08, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Thailand's Energy Ministry Monday awarded petroleum concession rights to four consortiums, allowing them to explore for petroleum in the Gulf of Thailand as well as in onshore blocks.

Among the winners for offshore blocks in the Gulf of Thailand are Pearl Oil Esarn for Block G2/48, Northern Gulf Oil (Thailand) for Block G3/48, and Occidental Exploration Pte. for Block G6/48, said Energy Minister Piyasvasti Amranand.

Pan Orient Energy Corp. won the concession for onshore Block L53/48, he added.

The operators will have to pay around $19 million for a six-year exploration concession for each block.

If petroleum is discovered, they will have to apply for production rights, which are valid for 20-30 years.

The 19th petroleum concession bidding lasted from August 2005 to June 2006.

The Thai government had offered a total of 82 offshore and onshore blocks, totaling 440,704 square kilometers in area.

The next round of bidding is expected to open around May, said Kririt Nilkuha, director-general of the Department of Mineral Fuels.

Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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