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Two ruptures found in Myanmar gas pipeline


April 4, 2008

Two ruptures found in Myanmar gas pipeline

Malaysian state oil company Petronas, operator of the Yetagun offshore oilfield, has found two ruptures in a leaking gas pipeline near the Thai-Myanmar border, Reuters quoted the company as saying Thursday.

The company’s statement said the ruptures in the pipeline, which carries gas to Thailand from Myanmar's Yetagun offshore field, have resulted in a supply disruption of about 460 million cubic feet per day of gas from the Yetagun field to Thailand, adding Petronas is taking all the necessary efforts to expedite repair works, which would be completed in five days.

Thai Energy Minister Poonpirom Liptapanlop also said on Thursday that Petronas was fixing the problem and gas supply from Yetagun should be back to normal in five days.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s power supplier the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) insisted Thursday its operations would not be disrupted by the suspension of natural gas flows from Myanmar.

However, industrial plants that use natural gas and NGV consumers may face short-term impacts, due to disruptions of supply from the Yetagun Field.

Egat Governor Sombat Santijaree said the agency has adjusted its generating plans, after the pipeline was shut down due to two cracks in the pipeline and the flow of 1,160 million cubic feet per day (mcfpd) from Yetagun and Yadana fields was temporarily halted.

To cover the shortfall, Egat is running its power plants with 500,000 litres of bunker oil and 300,000 litres of diesel per hour.

"This incident will not disrupt power supply as power reserves account for 15 percent of total consumption," Sombat said, while urging the public to reduce consumption to help ease the situation.

PTT purchases an average of 460 mcfpd of natural gas from Yetagun and 700 mcfpd from Yadana located in the Gulf of Martaban. Most of the gas from Yetagun is for power generation.

Myanmar natural gas accounts for about 30 percent of Thailand's consumption, mostly in power generation. About 1.16 billion cubic feet per day (cfd) of gas from the Yetagun and nearby Yadana fields is exported to Thailand.

Thailand's power demand usually peaks in April.

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