press release

PTT, Unocal sign condensate sales pact, help cut Thailand's oil imports

Unocal Thailand, Ltd. and Mitsui Oil Exploration Co., Ltd. (MOECO) today announced the signing of a 15-year condensate sales agreement with the Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) that will help the country reduce oil imports and preserve foreign exchange.

The agreement calls for the co-concessionaires to supply to PTT all of the condensate produced in concession blocks 10, 11, 12 and 13 in the Gulf of Thailand for the next 15 years.

Eleven Unocal-operated fields in the Gulf of Thailand currently produce about 35,000 barrels per day (b/d) of condensate, equal to about 5 percent of the 700,000 b/d of oil that Thailand imports. Previously, the condensate production was generally sold into the export market.

"This agreement enables PTT to guarantee a continuous supply of condensate for domestic users, primarily Aromatics (Thailand) and Thai Oil, over a long period," said Viset Choopiban, president of PTT International. "As a result, Thailand will consume all condensate produced from the fields, rely less on imported petroleum, and preserve its foreign exchange reserves."

Brian W. G. Marcotte, president of Unocal Thailand, said, "Downstream and upstream operators alike can now do their business with greater long-term confidence. The success of petroleum exploration and development in Thailand to date is a direct result of the vision of the Thai government and prudent planning by PTT."

Condensate is produced along with natural gas in the Gulf of Thailand. It is used as a blending stock in oil refineries, in the manufacturing of chemical solvents, and as a petrochemical feedstock.

"Thailand's domestic market for condensate has grown significantly in recent years, and this agreement ensures a long-term supply for that market," Marcotte said.

With its co-concessionaires, Unocal Thailand is producing gas and condensate to supply PTT. The fields are currently producing about 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day. Natural gas is used primarily for power generation, helping to meet about one-fourth of the country's electricity requirement. In the current economic situation, Thailand continues to focus on switching to indigenous natural gas supplies to reduce imported oil.

Updated: August 1998