press release

Unocal begins Andaman Sea exploration

Bangkok, Nov. 28, 1996 -- Unocal Bangkok today announced the beginning of its exploration for petroleum in the Andaman Sea with a seismic geophysical survey under a six-year exploration program with a total budget of 1.2 billion baht.

The two concession blocks, W8/38 and W9/38, were awarded in June by the Ministry of Industry to the consortium of Unocal Bangkok, Statoil Siam, and Total Khorat. Brian Marcotte, Unocal Bangkok president, said, "Deepwater exploration in the Andaman Sea is a real challenge, but with modern exploration technology, we believe that success lies within reach." Two exploration wells are planned for late 1997.

Unocal is using the GECO Echo vessel to conduct seismic work in the 48,000-square-kilometer blocks, some 100 to 250 kilometers off the southwestern coast of Phuket province. At the initial stage, a total of 10,000 line-kilometers of seismic work will be covered, followed by seismic data interpretation.

Unocal found some natural gas in this area in a search during the 1970s, but relinquished the concession due to a limited market for it at the time.

Unocal Bangkok's share in the concession blocks is 46.665, Total Khorat 33.33%, and Statoil Siam 20%. Unocal Thailand is currently operator for nine fields in the Gulf of Thailand, with an average gas production rate of 76o million cubic feet a day (mmcfd). In 1997, this rate is expected to be about 1,000 mmcfd.

Updated: December 1996