Thai coal miner Banpu makes first investment in US shale

BANGKOK: Banpu Pcl, Thailand’s largest coal miner, said it had spent US$112mil to buy a 29.4% stake in the Chaffee Corners Joint Exploration Agreement (JEA), a shale gas operation in the US state of Pennsylvania.

The Thai company said in a statement yesterday that the deal was its first in the US upstream gas business and was part of its strategy to balance its heavy exposure to the Asian market.

JEA is 65.4%-owned and operated by Talisman Energy Inc and located in the northeast section of the Marcellus Shale belt, the largest source of natural gas in the United States, it said.

Banpu’s investment represents proved reserves of 156 billion cu ft of dry natural gas and target net output of around 21 million cu ft per day for 2016, the company said.

The gas is sold entirely to the US domestic market, mainly for power generation.

Many energy firms have been forced to write down the value of their US shale gas operations due to the slump in oil and gas prices.

Banpu said it had appointed Anon Sirisaengtaksin, the former chief executive of PTT Exploration and Production Pcl, Thailand’s largest oil and gas explorer, as a director and to advise on its upstream gas strategy.

Banpu has coal mines in Indonesia, Australia, and China and has interests in power plants in Laos, China and Japan. – Reuters

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Business , banpu plc , Thailand , shale


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