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November 14, 2008

Indonesia awards exploration rights to Thai oil firm
Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production Plc said on Thursday its PTTEP Semai II Ltd and two other companies had won the bidding for exploration rights in block Semai II in Indonesia, reported Reuters.

The subsidiary has signed a production-sharing contract with Murphy Oil Corporation and Inpex Corporation with equal interests of 33.33 percent each, it said in a statement. Murphy is the operator of the project.

The offshore block Semai II, covering an area of 3,379 square km (1,305 sq mile), is located in the southwest of West Papua in Indonesia and a primary geological study for the block indicates natural gas potential.

PTTEP, a subsidiary of top Thai energy firm PTT Plc, already operates two blocks in Indonesia -- Merangin-1 and Bengara-1 -- and the investment is another way for the company to boost growth, it said.

PTTEP has invested in 40 oil and gas exploration and development projects in 14 countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. More than 20 projects are under development abroad, although domestic fields account for 70 percent of total output.

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