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PTTEP runs rule over options for Lang Lebah

Discovery off Malaysia could deliver much-needed feedstock to Petronas LNG Complex

Thailand’s national upstream company PTTEP is already working on development options for its giant Lang Lebah gas discovery off Sarawak, East Malaysia that could ultimately deliver feed gas to the Petronas LNG Complex.

In parallel with these development concept evaluations, PTTEP's focus is on further drilling and the operator is planning for an appraisal well to confirm the upside potential of this field, which was discovered with its first wildcat on Block SK 410B.

The Lang Lebah-1RDR2 well, which was spudded in March, hit 252 metres of net gas pay that the operator said indicated a multi-trillion cubic feet discovery.

One source suggested reserves could be in the 2 trillion cubic feet ballpark.

The successful probe — drilled to a total depth of 3810 metres by Velesto Energy’s jack-up Naga 6 — was targeting non-associated gas in a primary Middle Miocene carbonate reservoir.

Tests on the main target reservoir flowed at a completion-constrained 41.3 million cubic feet per day of gas and 246 barrels per day of condensate through a 40/64-inch choke.

PTTEP is already hailing Lang Lebah as the largest find the company has ever made.

“This affirms our strategy in organically growing reserves from exploration activities,” said PTTEP chief executive Phongsthorn Thavisin.

The Miocene carbonate play has delivered a number of discoveries such as Pegaga, B14 and Kasawari but issues around gas impurities and contaminants have stymied development plans for some of these finds.

One exploration source questioned the composition and possible sourness of PTTEP’s discovered gas — the company would not comment on this — but consultancy Wood Mackenzie reckons that it is not the case.

“It is in the deeper, high pressure/high temperature reservoir of the basin and looks potentially to have relatively clean gas qualities and low impurity content,” said Wood Mackenzie senior analyst Huong Tra Ho.

Exploiting Lang Lebah could provide much-needed feedstock for the Petronas LNG Complex at Bintulu.

“Legacy fields have experienced sand influx and water breakthroughs, while many of the remaining undeveloped discoveries require advanced carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide processing,” added Ho.

“Gas quality will thus be crucial to determining the speed and ease of future monetisation plans for Lang Lebah, which is also close to existing infrastructure.”

Fast-track potential for Thai player's Sarawak discovery

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Partners in shallow-water Block SK 410B are operator PTTEP with 42.5%, Kufpec on 42.5% and Petronas Carigali having 15%.

The 1870-square kilometre block, which was lies 90 kilometres off the state of Sarawak, was awarded in July 2016 and the operator acquired 3D seismic the following year. Block SK 410B was the only Malaysian acreage awarded in 2016 and marked PTTEP’s first operatorship in the Southeast Asian nation.

The Thai player last year added to its Sarawak portfolio with blocks SK 417 and SK 438, which were offered in Malaysia’s 2017 licensing exercise. National E&P company Petronas Carigali is PTTEP’s sole partner on these two tracts, with a 20% minority stake in each.

PTTEP has subsequently splurged $2.1 billion to acquire Murphy Oil’s Malaysian upstream assets and also picked up shallow-water blocks PM 407 and PM 415 off Peninsular Malaysia from last year’s bid round.

PTTEP also has a role in Petronas LNG. PTT Global LNG — a 50:50 joint venture between PTTEP and parent PTT — in 2017 acquired a 10% stake in the 3.6 million tonnes per annum Train 9 at the Petronas LNG Complex.

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