Chevron’s recently-appointed president Chatit Huayhongtong has pledged to ensure a smooth transfer of its Erawan gas field, now facing a legal dispute, to Thai upstream company PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP), reported the Bangkok Post.
In February, state-backed PTTEP reported it was having difficulty accessing the Chevron-operated Erawan gas field to install production facilities as planned, ahead of a handover next year.
The management of PTTEP warned of a potential risk to an efficient transition at the Erawan project offshore Thailand, if a dispute between Chevron and the Department of Mineral Fuels is not resolved by mid-2021.
Last October, Chevron restarted arbitration with Thailand following the breakdown of negotiations over decommissioning costs at one of the nation’s biggest gas fields, in a tussle that risks severe disruption to the country’s energy production.
Chevron had earlier suspended the legal process to have more time to talk with the Energy Ministry on the issue.
Known as G1/61, Erawan, located in the Gulf of Thailand, is operated by Chevron, but its concession expires in April next year.
PTTEP, which won the auction for the G1/61 concession in December 2018, will be the new operator from 2022.
“Chevron Thailand will continue our commitment to support Thai energy security, including the safe transfer of Erawan, with our skilled workforce, technology and world-class safety and environmental standard,” said Chatit, reported the Bangkok Post yesterday.
He did not elaborate on how the gas block will be transferred.
The Department of Mineral Fuels said in March it is attempting to speed up the process to have PTTEP succeed Chevron after the Thai national oil company (NOC) expressed concern that the unsettled dispute may hinder its plan to access the gas field to install production facilities.
Chatit has worked with Chevron for over 19 years.
His appointment took effect on May 1, following the retirement of his predecessor Pairoj Kaweeyanun.