Thai PTTEP to operate Myanmar gas field after TotalEnergies exit

The logo of French energy group Total is seen on a gas station in Montreuil, France, May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

BANGKOK, March 14 (Reuters) - Thai oil and gas giant PTT Exploration and Production Pcl (PTTEP.BK) said on Monday it would take over operations of the Yadana gas field in Myanmar from July following the exit of France's TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA).

Oil majors Chevron and TotalEnergies in January withdrew from Myanmar citing worsening humanitarian conditions following last year's coup. read more

PTTEP in a statement said it "recognises that equitable access to energy is a fundamental human right that all people are entitled to".

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"After the decision of TotalEnergies to withdraw from Yadana project, PTTEP has thoroughly considered to take a step as the successor operator in order to ensure the no interruption of natural gas supply," it said.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army overthrew an elected government in February 2021 and used lethal force to suppress protests against its rule.

Thousands of opponents have been arrested and the military, facing resistance from militias, has been accused of shelling and conducting air strikes on civilian areas. The junta says it is fighting "terrorists".

PTTEP, a unit of state-owned energy firm PTT Pcl (PTT.BK), said it places importance in "preventing disruption to energy demand," describing Yadana as a "pivotal source of natural gas supply to the livelihood of the people in both Myanmar and Thailand."

TotalEnergies currently holds a 31% stake in the field.

The transition will conclude on July 20, after which PTTEP said it would hold a 37.1% stake, state-run Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise with 21.8% while a subsidiary of Chevron will hold 41.1%.

Yadana produces about 770 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) where 220 mmscfd accounts for 50% of Myanmar's gas demand for electricity generation, PTTEP said.

The remaining 550 mmscfd is exported to Thailand and supplies 12 power plants, accounting for about 11% of country's gas demand.

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Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Martin Petty

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