PTTEP begins producing oil in Vietnam in Q3

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BANGKOK, July 28 — PTT Exploration and Production Plc (PTTEP) announced today it expected to produce oil in Vietnam in this year’s third quarter as planned, while the company’s profits for the first six months of the year increased 10 per cent, reaching US$729 million.

Anon Sirisaengtaksin, PTTEP President and Chief Executive Officer, told a press briefing that the firm will start producing oil in Vietnam in the third quarter as the Vietnam 16-1 Project has finished installation of the wellhead platform and infield pipelines.

Additionally, construction of an offshore floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit is finished and has been moved to the production area. It will soon be commissioned, when the last devices are installed, to be ready for oil production in the third quarter as scheduled.

Initially, oil production is expected to at 18,000-20,000 barrels a day and reach 40,000 barrels per day by late 2011.

Meanwhile, oil production at PTTEP Australasia project’s Montara field will resume from the first quarter of 2012 onwards, Mr Anon said.

Regarding implementing the action plan for the Montara oil spill incident submitted to the Australian government, the company has consistently reported related progress to that country’s Department of Resources and Energy.

In a related development, a claim for compensation owing to oil and gas leakage from the 2009 Montara incident submitted by the Indonesian government, so far no verifiable scientific evidence has been provided to support the compensation-related claim.

Currently, the company is concluding and compiling a socio-economic survey conducted under strict scientific principles to verify any impacts from the Montara oil spill on the Indonesian fisheries sector.

At Thursday’s press briefing, Mr Anon said he expected that the Greater Bongkot South project in Thailand to begin production in the first half of 2012 while the Myanmar Zawtika project is projected to start producing natural gas within 2013.

Meanwhile, the Canada Oil Sands KKD project began commercial production of oil in the Leismer area since January 2011 and gradually increased bitumen production at ‘a satisfactory pace’ of some 14,000 barrels a day, higher than earlier projections.

Development of the Leismer (40,000 barrels per day) and Corner areas (40,000 barrels per day) was already approved. For the Corner area, the final investment decision (FID) is expected within 2012 with the first steam expected in 2016.

Meanwhile, Mr Anon said PTTEP’s business profits in 2011’s first six months reached $729 million, a 10-per cent increase of $66 million compared to the same period last year when PTTEP earned profits of S663 million. This year, the company earned total revenue of $2.7 billion, a 29-per cent growth from $2.1 billion year-on-year.

Most of the income rise was due to higher oil prices from $44.28/barrel in the first six months of last year to $52.85/barrel in the same period this year. It also resulted from the average sales volume of natural gas and condensate equivalent to a crude oil amount at 272,307 barrels, compared to 260,351 barrels year-on-year.

Gas distribution services helped earn more income in proportion to its business with Moattama Gas Transportation Company (MGTC) and Taninthayi Pipeline Company (TPC) in Myanmar, among other factors.