PTTEP Awarded 6 Blocks Offshore New Zealand

PTTEP and its partners have won six exploration blocks offshore New Zealand. The blocks are in the Great South Basin, south of New Zealand's South Island. They are part of the 40 blocks offered in the New Zealand Offshore Great South Basin Bidding Round 2006 organized by the Crown Minerals, Department of Economic Development of New Zealand.

The partnership comprises OMV New Zealand Limited who will be the operator, with 36% interest, PTTEP Offshore Investment Company Limited, a subsidiary of PTTEP with 36% interest, and Mitsui E&P Australia with 28% interest.

PTTEP President Mr. Maroot Mrigadat said that the company sees this success as a major step in its investment expansion in the Asia Pacific Region as it is the first time PTTEP has invested in projects in New Zealand.

The bids that PTTEP and its partners won comprise of three packages of blocks. Package 1 comprises Block 11 and 12 covering an area of 18,000 square kilometers; package 2 comprise Block 13 covering an area of 9,000 square kilometers; and package 3 comprises Block 5, 6 and 14 covering a combined area of 27,000 square kilometers.

The Great South Basin is a large sedimentary basin with thick sediment, conducive to hydrocarbon generation. Past exploration activities in this area have been limited due to low oil price environment and its remoteness. The six blocks awarded to PTTEP and its partners are considered to have high petroleum potential as they are located in the area where hydrocarbons have been found in the past.

Mr. Maroot said "We are not only delighted to have the opportunity to expand our investment in a high potential frontier but we are also pleased to have a chance to work with esteemed companies from Austria and Japan who have strong expertise in oil and gas exploration and production."

New Zealand is a country with high petroleum potential which is under-explored. The Country's proved and probable remaining reserves are 520 million barrels oil equivalent. The average 2006 oil & condensate production is approximately 23,000 barrels per day which will be increased to approximately 40,000 barrels per day in 2007, and its 2006 average gas production is about 420 million cubic feet per day.

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