Thailand hikes E&P spending

By an OGJ correspondent
BANGKOK, Feb. 5--
Thailand's exploration and production spending is projected by the Department of Mineral Fuels (DMF) to increase 18% this year to 169.76 billion baht ($5.14 billion).

E&P spending amounted to 144.23 billion baht 2009.

Of the projected 2010 budget, 130.23 billion baht would be for capital expenditures, 36.76 billion baht for operating expenses, and 2.76 billion baht for exploration. Most will go to concession areas in the production stage under existing participants, especially PTT Exploration & Production Plc (PTTEP) and Chevron Inc., which are the country's largest gas producers.

PTTEP and Chevron will continue to be top spenders this year at 83.04 billion baht and 67.03 billion baht, respectively. Other concessionaires are expected to spend 19.68 billion baht.

According to DMF, 78% of total expenditures in 2010 would be for development and production, 13% for exploration, and 9% for operation and management costs.

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