PTTEP to Start Arthit Gas Production March 2008

BANGKOK Oct. 17, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswire)

PTT Exploration & Production PCL (PTTEP.TH) will start production in the Arthit gas field in the Gulf of Thailand in March 2008 - a delay of nearly a year due to a global shortage of construction material and equipment.

A construction delay has increased the project's total cost to $1 billion, a company spokesman said Wednesday.

The Arthit central processing platform, the largest processing platform in Southeast Asia, is being constructed at Batam, Indonesia and is nearly complete.

The field should produce about 330 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas.

The company has drilled 78 production wells in the field and will drill 10 more before the end of the third quarter this year under the first phase of the development plan, the company said.

In addition, the Arthit North project, with estimated production of 120 mmscf/d, is scheduled to start operations in September 2008.

Covering the total area of 3,682 square kilometers, the Arthit field is 80% owned by PTTEP. Chevron Corp.'s (CVX) Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production Ltd. holds 16% stake in the field and Moeco (Thailand), a unit of Mitsui Oil Exploration Co., has the remaining 4%.

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