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Montara start-up to be delayed: PTTEP.

Byline: BANGKOK:

Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) has said the start-up of the Montara field in Australia, which suffered an oil leak and fire in late 2009, would be delayed until the second half of 2011.

The company needed about 12-14 months to build and install a new rig after the West Atlas rig in the Timor Sea, which was due to start operations some time this year, was damaged by the fire, chief executive Anon Sirisaengtaksin told reporters.

"We can't give any specific forecast for Montara project as we are in the process of choosing a construction company and assessing insurance costs," Anon said.

The Montara field could be one of the main sources of profit for PTTEP in future. Many analysts expect higher output from new oil and gas fields to boost sales. PTTEP owns 100 per cent of the Montara field through its wholly owned Australasia, formerly known as Coogee Resources, which it acquired last year.

PTTEP planned to produce about 35,000 bpd from the Montara field and expected revenue to come in 2011, Anon added. It would book Montara-related expenses of about 10 billion baht for the second half of 2009, and expected to seek $266 million of insurance claims. It had already received $40 million in the fourth quarter, vice president Chatchawal Eimriri said.

"About five billion baht expenses were already booked in the third quarter as a result of the oil spill and the remaining five billion baht was booked in the fourth quarter," he said.

PTTEP, the exploration flagship of PTT, Thailand's biggest energy firm, planned to spend 20 billion baht ($609 million) on investments in Australia in 2010-2011, chief executive Anon added.

PTTEP said it planned to invest about $13 billion from 2010 to 2014 and expected average sales volume growth of 5.6 per cent a year over the next five years.

The company planned to shut down operations at Myanmar's Yadana for 10 days from April 5 to connect a gas pipeline to the country's biggest city, Yangon, Anon said, adding the Yadana gas field was expected to produce 750 million cubic feet per day (cfd) this year.

It also planned to begin gas production from the Thai-Malaysian joint development area (JDA) in the middle of February.

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Publication:Oil & Gas News
Date:Jan 28, 2010
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