press release

Unocal joins venture to study feasibility of Thailand pipeline project

El Segundo, Calif., July 7 -- Unocal Corporation today said its Unocal Asia-Pacific Ventures, Ltd., subsidiary has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT), the energy company of Thailand, and Nissho Iwai Corporation of Japan to conduct a feasibility study for an onshore natural gas pipeline to supply Thailand's northeast sector.

The coventurers will study the feasibility of building a pipeline from the eastern seaboard to the northeast which would carry natural gas from the Gulf of Thailand to supply energy to mining and related industries in the region. The study would also include the feasibility of laying fibre optics cables alongside the pipeline in order to increase the communications potential of the region.

Unocal and Nissho Iwai have completed a preliminary feasibility study for the project. Further studies with PTT will determine the economics and commerciality of building and operating the pipeline system.

"Unocal has been active in Thailand's energy sector for more than 30 years," said John G. Vandermeer, president of Singapore-based Unocal Asia-Pacific Ventures. "We believe the idea to build and operate a pipeline system to supply industry in the northeast is another beneficial way to participate in the Kingdom's overall growth.

"We are confident that the supply of energy will not only expand the mining industry but will create the conditions for new industries to start up as well. The project would create jobs and improve the living conditions for the people in Thailand's northeast," he said. Expenditures by the coventurers could reach US$1 billion if all elements of the project are built.

Unocal Thailand, Ltd., a separate Unocal subsidiary, produces nearly 1 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas from its fields in the Gulf of Thailand to generate approximately 20 percent of Thailand's electricity.

Updated: July 1997