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Friday, May 18, 2007

Chevron to Invest $4 Billion in Asia

BANGKOK, Thailand — Chevron Corp. will invest about $4 billion in Asia this year, mostly for petroleum exploration and production, a company executive said Friday.

"The company sees Asia as a very attractive place for investment for future growth," Steve Green, managing director of Chevron Asia South Ltd., told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview.

Chevron plans to spend $20 billion this year and 20 percent of that will be spent in Asia, he said.
The company's major plans for Asia include developing the Gorgon liquefied natural gas project offshore Australia, building petroleum production in Indonesia and Thailand, and exploring for oil and gas in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam, he said.

Asia accounts for a quarter of Chevron's 62 billion barrels-of-oil-equivalent in global reserves. The company plans to increase its global production by an average of 3 percent a year from now to 2010, Green said.

In the first quarter of the year, the company's worldwide oil-equivalent production was 2.64 million barrels a day, unchanged from the first quarter of 2006, the company said in April.

Chevron's gas production in Thailand, where it is the largest natural gas supplier, will increase a minimum 160 million standard cubic feet this year, Green said. He would not provide an estimate of current gas production in Thailand.

Chevron is in negotiations with Thailand's PTT PCL, the country's sole natural gas buyer, to supply an additional 330 million cubic feet of gas a day from its Platong II field in the Gulf of Thailand, Green said, when production begins in 2010.

The company's production in Bangladesh will increase by 200 million cubic feet of gas a day in 2007, after it started production from the Bibiyana field in March. Production from the field is targeted to reach 500 million cubic feet of gas a day by 2010. Chevron's total gas production in 2006 in Bangladesh averaged 310 million cubic feet of gas a day.

The company also has five exploration and production projects in China, where its average daily production in 2006 was 100,000 barrels of crude oil and condensate and 54 million cubic feet of gas.

Chevron drilled four exploration wells in Cambodia earlier this year and expects to have reserve estimations at its offshore oil and gas Block A there in the next few months, Green said. He didn't elaborate on the company's plans for Vietnam.

Chevron is also evaluating potential exploration projects in India, Green said.
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Thai embassy in Cambodia ordered to tighten visa screening

The Thai embassy in Phnom Penh has been instructed to tighten screening of applicants for visa to Thailand, a deputy Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday.

Piriya Khempol, the deputy spokesman, was quoted by Thai news group The Nation as saying that the embassy was instructed to take the action after Gen Watanachai Chaimuanwong, an adviser to the prime minister on security affairs, voiced concern that international terrorists could try to sneak into Thailand from Cambodia and Indonesia.

Watanachai said the international terrorists, who are members of Jemaah Islamiyah Group.

Apart from the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh, other embassies in other countries were also ordered to tighten the screening of visa applications, Piriya said.

He said the embassies have an online network to cross-check the applicants' name with the blacklists of the Immigration Bureau and other security agencies.

Source: Xinhua
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