Mr Nuttachat Charuchinda, chief operating officer of Thailand’s PTT upstream petroleum and gas business group, said February 11 that PTT's natural gas supplier from the Yetagun gas field in the Andaman Sea is requesting to lower the daily contract quantity of the natural gas supply from the existing contracted amount of 400 million cubic feet a day.
For over a year, the volume of supply has been 250 million cubic feet per day, which is lower than the contracted amount, he said.
The natural gas from the Yetagun field has a high thermal value. It requires mixing with natural gas from the Yadana field, which has low thermal value, to meet the specifications of Thailand’s Ratchaburi power plant.
As a result of this mix, the reduction in Yetagun gas would normally lead to lower demand for Yadana gas. However, natural gas from the Zawtika field, in which PTT is also operating, could be used to lessen the potential adverse impact.
Analysts say both long-running Yetagun and Yadana offshore fields are showing declining production.
While PTT has practical supply matters to consider, media reports indicate that Thai investment in Myanmar’s natural gas may soon be affected by the political decisions of the Thai military government that is said to be concerned about an overreliance on Myanmar gas.
Myanmar currently supplies about 25 percent of Thailand’s gas demand, used primarily for electricity generation.
PTT is said to be looking to diversify its sources. Operations to explore for oil and gas worldwide are facing difficulties due to the dramatic drop in oil prices. Offshore deep sea drilling is particularly expensive and many companies are reported to have shelved new ventures while prices remain low.