* To buy at least 2 bln cf/d natgas from Myanmar over 20 yrs
* Thailand seeks Myanmar petroleum exploration rights
BANGKOK Dec 20 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)