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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                       24  August 2011

Petronas to pull gas from marginal fields

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Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and its production sharing contract (PSC) partners are embarking on a RM15bil upstream project to extract gas from fields off Peninsular Malaysia, which also includes a new 200km pipeline. The company describes the fields as “marginal and challenging”.

Petronas said the project comprised nine discovered gas fields within Blocks PM301 and PM302 and in the Bergading contract area, about 300km off the coast of the peninsula.

“It will also involve the development of a new 200 kilometer pipeline to transport gas from the fields to Kertih, Terengganu. The project is estimated to cost RM15bil,” it said.

“Petronas and its PSC partners are undertaking the project on an accelerated basis. First delivery of 100 million standard cu ft of gas per day (mmscfd) is expected by early 2013, ramping up to 250 mmscfd by 2015,” the national oil company added.

Called the North Malay Basin project, it is one of the new initiatives by Petronas and its partners to extract and evacuate gas with high carbon dioxide content to meet gas demand in Peninsular Malaysia.

Petronas said the development of the project followed the recently introduced incentives by the Government, particularly to develop marginal fields, high carbon dioxide gas fields and fields located in high-pressure, high-temperature conditions.

“The gradual revision of gas prices to domestic customers, as recently announced by the Government, also makes the project more economically feasible for industry players,” it added.

Petronas said it expected the additional volume of gas from the North Malay Basin project to help sustain supply to its customers in Peninsular Malaysia.

“The project, which entails numerous upstream commitments, is expected to encourage more investments by industry players and spur exploration activities that could lead to sizeable discoveries offshore Peninsular Malaysia,” it said.

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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