Pipeline conference 3: Gazprom moves into Thai pipeline

Gazprom is expected to sign a partnership deal in Thailand's proposed $450-million trans-peninsula crude pipeline. The company will soon conduct a feasibility study for the 210 km pipeline and would be the fourth partner in the Omani-Thai-Canadian venture.

Operator Taksina Pipeline Co chairman Chach Taravanich announced that Gazrprom will sign next week but did not reveal how much Gazprom will hold in the project. He admitted that investment was still open to more investors. Currently, Taksina is 45% owned by Thailand's Sukhothai Petroleum, 45% by Oman's Talal Al-Zawawi Enterprise and 10% by Canada's SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

The pipeline will have an initial capacity of one million barrels a day and will transfer crude between Satun on the Andaman coast to Songkhla's Ranot in the Gulf of Thailand. Taksina will also build a five-million-barrel tank farm at each end of the line, 160 km of which will be onshore and 50 km offshore. Construction is due to be finished by 2005.

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