Implementation of Thailand-Malaysia gas project needs transparency

Apr 10, 1998 02:00 AM

In an attempt to avoid a repeat of the mistakes made with the Yadana gas pipeline project, the Malaysian House committee on the environment has urged the Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) to implement its new gas pipeline project from Malaysia with transparency.
Prai Pattano, secretary of the committee, said the PTT should explain how the public, especially those who will have to live along the pipeline route, will benefit from the Thailand-Malaysia Gas Joint Development Project (JDA).
Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai and his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad will co-chair the signing ceremony of the Gas Sales Agreement and Heads of Agreement, between the gas developing consortium as sellers and the PTT and Petronas of Malaysia as buyers, on April 22 in Songkhla.
"Before signing the agreement," Prai said, "the PTT and the National Economic and Social Development Board should study both negative and positive impacts of the project as well as listen to public opinion. The committee does not oppose the project but we don't want the mistakes from the Yadana gas pipeline to be repeated.".
Prai, a Songkhla MP, said that he had visited the proposed construction site on the coast of the province and found that communities who might be affected by the project knew nothing about it.

The offshore gas field is on the Thai-Malaysian border. Most of the pipeline will be constructed in the ocean and will come ashore at Songkhla coast. The length of the route is not certain yet as the location of the Gas Separation Unit is not yet confirmed, PTT officials said.
Industry Minister Somsak Thepsutin said the pipeline and the gas separation plant will be invested in on a joint venture basis between both countries.

There are two agreements, the being for the block A-18 gas field in the JDA and the consortiums comprised of the Malaysia-Thailand Joint Authority (MTJA), the Petronas Carigali (JDA) Sdn Bnd, the Triton Oil Company of Thailand and the Triton Oil Company of Thailand (JDA) Ltd.
The other agreement is for blocks B-17 and C-19 which have three consortiums, including the MTJA, the Petronas Carigali (JDA) Sdn Bnd, and the Petroleum Authority of Thailand Exploration and Production (PTTEP) International Ltd.
Somsak said the gas fields have at least 10 tcf of gas and it is expected that PTT can deliver gas from block A-18 in 2001 and the others in the following year.
The gas from the JDA will be used for economic development projects in the south of Thailand and north of Malaysia.

Source: not available
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