Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production (PTTE.BK) said on Thursday it planned to produce 1-2 million tonnes a year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Australian fields in the next five years.
LNG—gas chilled to liquid form so it shrinks and is easier to transport—would be imported to serve the country’s energy needs, Chief Executive Anon Sirisaengtaksin told reporters.
“Investment in LNG is to secure Thailand enough resources to cope with any shortfall if natural gas output from the Gulf of Thailand falls,” Anon said.
Production would involve floating LNG (FLNG) after PTTEP signed a contract with Norway’s Golar LNG (GOL.OL) to develop FLNG output in 2008, he said.
Natural gas accounts for 70% of the fuel used to generate electricity in Thailand. Some 70% of natural gas is from the Gulf of Thailand and the rest from neighbouring Burma.
PTTEP, the main exploration and production arm of top energy firm PTT (PTT.BK), is involved in 40 oil and gas exploration and development projects.
On top of two exploration projects in Australia, it recently acquired Coogee Resources Ltd, renamed PTTEP Australasia, which has three oil and gas fields located in the southern Timor Sea.
State-controlled PTT has also signed a 10-year contract with Qatargas to import 1 million tonnes per year of LNG starting in 2011.
PTT has been in talks with other LNG suppliers, including some from South Africa, the Middle East, Indonesia and Australia.
It is building a US$700 million LNG receiving terminal at Map Tha Put in the eastern Thai province of Rayong, which is expected to come into operation in 2011.