press release

Unocal unveils South Asia integrated gas project; new component in trans-Asia pipeline network

Calcutta, India, Dec. 9, 1997 - Unocal Corporation today unveiled its proposed Project Energy Renaissance that would develop an anchor market in West Bengal and link natural gas supplies to markets in India from South Asia and as far east as Myanmar, where Unocal has substantial reserves and exploration projects. This integrated project would eventually be part of a trans-Asia natural gas network of existing and proposed stand-alone pipelines, which would connect resources to markets throughout Asia.

The Project Energy Renaissance proposal calls for pipelines transporting up to 1 billion cubic feet of competitively priced, clean-burning natural gas per day to industrial centers in West Bengal and beyond; combined-cycle power plants with a total capacity of up to 1,500 megawatts; and a 2,350-tonne-per-day fertilizer plant in Haldia.

To be developed jointly with Paharpur Cooling Towers Limited and other investors, total investments by all parties required for these projects could exceed US$2 billion.

"In addition to the benefits to the region, these projects would be crucial links in an evolving trans-Asia pipeline network, in which Unocal expects to be a major participant," said Boyd Montgomery, vice president, New Ventures for Bangladesh, China and India. "In connection with the U.S.-India Business Council Summit to be held this week in Calcutta, we want to emphasize our commitment to being part of the continued economic growth in this dynamic region." Montgomery pointed out that Unocal's long-term strategy is to develop projects that provide integrated energy solutions in Asia.

Project Energy Renaissance is part of Unocal's vision of a trans-Asia natural gas network that would include existing and proposed pipelines in Thailand and Myanmar, as well as proposed pipelines in Central and South Asia.

Unocal has an interest in the pipeline from Myanmar's Yadana field to Thailand, the first cross-border natural gas pipeline in Asia. Unocal is also pursuing plans with other companies to build a new pipeline linking the gas fields in the Gulf of Thailand with industrial customers in northeast Thailand. In addition, Unocal is leading the CentGas consortium that proposes to develop a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to markets in Pakistan and India.

"Local companies are now actively involved in each part of this pipeline network," said Arun Metre, president and managing director of Unocal Bharat Limited, a subsidiary of Unocal Corporation. "Working together, we can provide needed energy solutions for Asia. To make these projects a reality, neighboring governments will need to reach agreement on cross-border trade and will have to facilitate economic cooperation simultaneously with the industry initiatives. Regional cooperation and economic policies will determine the availability of capital and time schedule of these projects."

Richard A. Roerig, president and managing director of Unocal Bangladesh, Ltd., said, "Integrated energy solutions like Project Energy Renaissance offer important advantages. A country like Bangladesh can first develop its indigenous energy resources to meet its domestic demand. Then Bangladesh can become an energy trading hub within the next decade to help fuel its economic growth."

Roerig noted that Unocal is actively working in Bangladesh to prove reserves for dedication to domestic projects and to invest in gas utilization projects and developing infrastructure to deliver gas to markets in Bangladesh. "We are proving reserves to support the country's role as an international energy trading hub, which will maximize the value of its gas, improve its balance of payments and help fuel GDP growth," he said.

Unocal is a leading global energy resource and project development company, with year-end 1996 petroleum reserves of more than 9.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent (1.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent) and major oil and gas production activities in Asia and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The company is also active in energy resource development in Asia and Latin America. Unocal maintains twin headquarters in California and Malaysia, with major offices in Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok and Sugar Land, Texas.

The company has made a significant commitment to Asia, investing some US$5 billion to date in the development of oil and gas resources and related infrastructure to help meet the region's rapidly expanding energy demand.

Updated: December 1997