LONDON (Thomson Financial) - Coastal Energy Co said the government of Thai
land has approved the development plan for the Songkhla field, allowing the AIM-listed group to begin pumping oil from the field in the fourth quarter of 2008.
The Department of Mineral Fuels approved the project, which covers an area of 75 square kilometres, including the Songkhla field and surrounding satellite sites.
'The extended production area is significant in that it enables the company to fully exploit the prospects surrounding the primary Songkhla development without the need to apply for additional government approvals,' Coastal Energy said in a statement.
The area is believed to hold proved, probable and possible reserves of around 6.4 million barrels of oil. It also contains eight prospects with potential oil in place of over 200 million barrels.
Drilling is expected to start in August, with production still on course with plans to begin in the fourth quarter despite delays in the arrival of the rig, the company said, adding the drilling of the Bua Ban appraisal wells will start in early 2009.
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