Work on urgently needed gas pipeline might only start next year: official

Although a new pipeline for the Zawtika natural gas field is urgently needed, work on the project is expected to only begin next year due to negotiations over the cost of the project, officials say.

The cost for the new pipeline is supposed to come from revenue generated for the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) by the current Kanpauk-Myaing Kalay pipeline that transfers natural gas from the Zawtika field for local use.

MOGE is then required to share the revenue from the existing pipeline with the the Ministry of Planning and Finance.

“The Ministry of Planning and Finance said it will approve the cost for the new pipeline only after revenue is fully paid. We’re still negotiating with MOGE on revenue payments and we’re waiting for their reply,” U Than Zaw, director general of the Oil and Gas Planning Department.

The Zawtika M9 block is being worked as a 80/20 joint venture by Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production Public Co Ltd and MOGE.

A total of 9.7 cubic metres (345 million cubic feet) of natural gas is produced daily from the Zawtika Field. Some 2.8 million cubic metres for daily domestic consumption is channelled from the offshore field in the Gulf of Moattama to the Zawtika Operation Centre (ZOC) in Kanpauk Township, Tanintharyi Region. The natural gas is then transferred to Myaing Kalay, Kayin State, via the 200km,6 metre wide Kanpauk-Myaing Kalay pipeline. The rest of the gas is sent to Thailand.

Although the Zawtika Field is producing natural gas at a good rate, the existing pipeline is not efficient enough to handle the full 2.8 million cubic metres of natural gas meant for Myanmar. At present, it can handle only between 1.69 million and 2.26 million cubic metres a day, said PTTEP Myanmar Assets General Manager Mr Piya Sukhumpanumet.

PTTEP, which is responsible for upgrading the pipeline, made a proposal for the project to MOGE in 2018 and is waiting for the decision to start work, Sukhumpanumet said. Once approved, MOGE is expected to call a tender for the project which is expected to take around two years to complete.

The Zawtika field is 230 kilometres off the coast of Myanmar.

A senior official of the Ministry of Electricity and Energy acknowledged that the Zawtika pipeline is currently one of the choke points if supplying natural gas for local use.

In addition, due to a fault in the gas pipeline between Thanbyuzayat and Lamaing, the U Energy power plant in Thaketa Township, Yangon Region, which is run by gas from Zawtika, was shut down. As a result, there has been a 300MW decline in the electricity production, according to the Yangon Electricity Corporation.

As a result, temporary power outages have been occurring in industrial zones, townships, and wards, in Yangon. – Translated


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