On 14 October 2010, Tap acquired an effective 30% working interest in three concessions G1/48 and G3/48 in shallow water in the north and central Gulf of Thailand. The interests were obtained through the purchase of 75% of the shares in Northern Gulf Petroleum Pte Ltd (NGP) which holds a 40% working interest in the concessions.
Thailand is a significant producer of oil and gas in South East Asia. It has a well established regularoty and fiscal regime (Thai III) which has been in effect since 1989. Thailand is one of Asia's success stories with an economy diversified into export focused manufacturing, tourism and services. Thailand promotes open markets and foreign investment. It benefits from a manageable level of public debt, strong financial reserves and a sound banking and corporate sector.
The G1/48 concession contains the Manora field originally estimated by Tap as a 24 mmbbl resource. The Manora discovery in late 2009 opened up a new oil play in the northern Gulf of Thailand. The G1/48 joint venture is targeting first production in early 2014. Manora-1 tested at cumulative flow rates of over 9,000 bopd from three zones. These concessions represent an opportunity for Tap to participate in the appraisal and development of a newly discovered oilfield and the exploration of a highly prospective Tertiary basin in a prolific hydrocarbon province. The Manora discovery has demonstrated the existence of a new, attractive exploration play which provides significant potential for Tap’s long-term future.
The joint venture focused its 2011 exploration efforts on delineating a number of prospects in the G1/48 and G3/48 concessions. Three of these prospects are the focus of the 2012 drilling campaign.