Bangkok — THE government has set strategic plans to offer scholarships to journalists interested in deepening their knowledge in extractive industry.
Speaking to the 'Daily News' here after visiting Arthit gas field in South Thailand, Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr Steven Masele said information related to minerals, gas and oil should coherently be reported to provide right knowledge to the public.
"Our extraction industry in Tanzania is relatively new and the media is the only rightful channel that is capable of showing the advantages of such huge investments in a developing world like ours" he said.
According to Mr Masele, the government has already resolved to train journalists both inside and outside the country - from short to long term courses and this opportunity shall be availed to both government and private media houses.
The Deputy Minister said that there were a lot of things that journalists should know to enable them report in a professional manner issues related to gas, minerals and oil.
He lauded some sections of the media for putting interests of the country first in their reportage and such a trend has started to provide relevant education to ill-informed citizens opposing gas investors.
Minister Masele visited Arthit gas and condensate field, which is located 230km offshore of Thailand's Songkhla Province in the Gulf of Thailand.
This company has already shown interest in investing in Tanzania's gas industry. According to Arthit Field Production Superintendent, Mr Supot Lertsakulsup, the company operates in the area that covers 4,185km² across five concession blocks lying at water depth of 80 metres. "Our first production from the field here was achieved in March 2008.
The field was developed with an investment of 1.4 billion US dollars," he said, adding that if his company manages to get gas plots in Tanzania, it will adhere to the signed contract.
He added that PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP), the operator of the field, holds 80 per cent interest, mentioning other partners as Chevron Thailand (16 per cent) and Mitsui Oil Exploration Company (MOECO) Thailand (4 per cent).
According to Mr Lertsakulsup, average production from the field in the second quarter of 2011 ranged from 280 to 330 million standard ft³/day (mmscfd) of natural gas and 13,000 to 14,000 barrels a day of condensate.
Arthit was discovered by PTTEP in 1999 after conducting a 3D seismic study of the concession area in 1998 and launched a drilling programme which confirmed the presence of hydrocarbons at the field.
The Arthit field reservoir is of the Late Eocene to Late Oligocene formation and consists of Miocene retrograde gas sands. The field is estimated to contain proven gas reserves of 1.9 trillion cubic feet (tcf).
PTTEP commenced the first phase of exploration and appraisal drilling programme for the field in 1999. Seven wells were drilled during the first phase which lasted until 2 000. The Trident XV jack-up rig was contracted for the drilling activities.