PTEEP boosting output to strengthen energy security after taking the operatorship helm at Thai fields

After taking operatorship of Thai fields, PTTEP boosting output to strengthen energy security

Following a takeover of the operatorship steering wheel at the fields in the Gulf of Thailand, Thai national oil and gas company PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) has revealed plans to ramp up production in an effort to meet the energy demands of the country.

G1 and G2 projects; Source: PTTEP

Back in February 2019, PTTEP officially signed production sharing contracts (PSCs) for the Erawan and Bongkot fields – located in the Gulf of Thailand – after beating Chevron for the operatorship of the fields in December 2018.

At the time, the firm advised that the Erawan field was still operated by Chevron, however, PTTEP was planning to collaborate with the Department of Mineral Fuels and the existing operator to confirm the smooth operatorship transfer in 2022.

In addition, the Thai player disclosed plans to invest around THB 1 trillion or $31.96 billion in the Bongkot and Erawan fields to safeguard the production volumes of at least 700 million cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) and 800 MMSCFD, respectively. 

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In an update on Monday, PTTEP confirmed it had become the official operator of the G1/61 project – consisting of Erawan, Platong, Satun, and Funan fields – and the G2/61 project – encompassing the Bongkot field – under the previously inked PSC.

PTTEP further informed that it was prepared to execute its work plan in raising the natural gas production rate in support of domestic consumption and national energy security.

Montri Rawanchaikul, Chief Executive Officer of PTTEP, remarked: “PTTEP has continually upheld and been committed to execute our missions in strengthening national energy security. By assuming the operatorship of these sizable natural gas fields of the country, which are vital sources of energy with combined production capacity of 1,500 million cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) or 60 per cent of the nation’s gas supply, we take pride in being Thailand’s energy company and strive to conduct our energy business for the country and all people the best we can.” 

Rawanchaikul also added that PTTEP assumed operatorship of the G1/61 project and the G2/61 project on Sunday, 24 April 2022, which marked the first day of the PSC. PTTEP set up a war room at its headquarters and the production platforms while working closely with the Department of Mineral Fuels and the former operator of the G1/61 project to assure not only a smooth and safe transition of the project but also to continuously satisfy national natural gas demand.

PSC Commencement Day; Courtesy of PTTEP
PSC Commencement Day; Courtesy of PTTEP

PTTEP reported that, on the date of the operatorship handover, the natural gas production rate at the G1/61 was at 376 MMSCFD.  According to the company, the production rate will gradually decline from the exit rate due to the absence of continuous development and drilling activity prior to the operatorship transfer to PTTEP.

Previously, the company was not allowed to access the site to proceed with the preparation work, including the drilling campaign as planned, the Thai giant said. The company was granted site access in late 2021, putting the firm about two years behind its original plan.

Consequently, the production rate will initially stay at approximately 250-300 MMSCFD, as PTTEP will continue to produce natural gas from the remaining resources of the existing production wells.

Workers on PSC start date; Courtesy of PTTEP
Workers on PSC start date; Courtesy of PTTEP

PTEEP intends to execute its plan to ramp up the production rate to 800 MMSCFD within April 2024. The scope of work for the execution of this plan – including the acceleration of 8 wellhead platforms and subsea pipeline installation, drilling campaign of 183 production wells, and procurement of additional two drilling rigs for another 52 production wells – is all in place. 

The Thai oil and gas player will also conduct equipment and system inspections as well as maintenance schedules to ensure the readiness and safety of petroleum production. With regards to the G2/61 project, PTTEP stated that the production would proceed in accordance with the work plan targeting the production of 700 MMSCFD of natural gas.

Meanwhile, PTTEP will attempt to boost the production rates of the Bongkot field, the Arthit project and the MTJDA project by approximately 125 MMSCFD, 60 MMSCFD, and 30-50 MMSCFD, respectively. This will be done to meet natural gas demand while the increase of production capacity at the G1/61 project is underway. The production output will be raised by 200-250 MMSCFD in total to minimise impacts on Thailand.