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BY Boonsong Kositchotethana

THE oil group led by Texaco has kicked off negotiations with the
Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) and the group made up of
France's Total and the US energy company Unocal for the supply
of natural gas from the latter's Yadana gas field some 320
kilometres south of Rangoon in the Gulf of Martaban. The
negotiations have come about because Texaco has greater knowledge
about the size of gas reserves at the Yetagun prospect, come 420
km south of the Burmese capital, and because the PTT has already
concluded the Yadana agreement, a priority for the Thai and
Burmese governments. 
Pe Kyi, Managing director of thr state energy firm MOGE told
BUsiness Post that initial estimates in Yetagun (water in
Burmese) showed gas reserves of about 1,5 trillion cubic feet
(Tcf), much smaller than the size of Yadana whose recoverable
reserves are certified at 5.8 Tcf. Thai officials said the
discussion with Burma and Texaco centred on the possinle gas
delievery of some 200 million cubic feet per day (MMcfd) by the
turn of the century.
The gas would be transport to Thailand through a pipeline
proposed to be laid from the offshore gas field to Thailand's
southern border in the area around Ranong or Kriba. From these
it could be laid across the southern peninsula to Khanom, Nakhon
Si Thammarat, a center of oil/gas industries that from the
nucleus of Thailand's ambitious Southern Seaboard Development
Programee, according to Prime Minister's Office Ministere Savit
Bhotiwihok. It will become the second gas field offshore Burma
which would be developed almost exclusively for exports to
Thailand to meet the country's energy hunger. it will also
provide another major source of income for this former British
colony which desperately needs foreign exchange to fuel its
backward economy and spur development. Yadana gas ecports to
Thailand, at the rate of 525 MMcfd, will generate an annual
income of 10 billion baht for a period of 30 years. meanwhile,
PTT Exploration & Production Plc (PTTEP) an affiliate of the PTT,
has shown keen interest in acquiring a stake in the Yetagun
development. "Yes, we would like very much to participate," said
PTTEP president Viset Choopiban. PTTEPT's equity participation
in Yetagun will be negotiated as part of the gas sales accord
between theh PTT and Texaco and the Burmese authorities. Texaco
discovered Yetagun gas prospect in 1992 by drilling two
successful wells. They were bored in blocks M-13 in water
slightly over 100 metres deep, which forms part of the three
adjoining blocks that total 36,200 square kilometres. According
to Texaco, the forst wiuldcat well, Yetagun No, 1 flowed a
combined rate of 75 MMcfd of gas and 1,800 barrels per day (b/d)
of 47.5 API gravity condensate from four zones between 1,950 and
2,195 metres. The second successful well, Wetagun East No. 1,
dro;;ed at a location close to the first well, tested a combined
daily rate of 63 MMcfd of gas and 1,922, b/d of 53.5 API
condensate from three zones between 2,012 and 2,133 metres.  MOGE
chief Pe Kyi said Texaco would conduct a threedimensional seismic
survey in the Yetagun area in order to get a better idea of the
size of gas reserves there. The quality of Yatagun gas is higher
than Yadana gas which comproses mostly methane, reserves thane,
which is good as fuel. Texaco Exploration Myanmar Inc a wholly
owned subsidiary of Texaco has a 50% interest in the production
sharing contract covering blocks M12, M13 and M14. Other co-
venmturers are Premier Petroleum Myanmar Ltd with a 30% interest
and nippon Oil (Myanmar) Exploration with a 20% stake.