BANGKOK, Sept 28 (Reuters) Negotiations between Thailand Yangon over gas supplies from a prospective field in Myanmar have been put on hold for now due to the uprising in Myanmar, Thailand's Energy Minister Piyasvasti Amranand said on Friday.
A deal on natural gas from Block M-9, about 300 km south from Yangon and operated by PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP), had been expected by the two countries to be finalised by the end of this year, Piyasvasti told Reuters.
''We can't continue the talk as now PTTEP's negotiation team has been evacuated,'' Piyasvasti said. ''But we still hope to get a conclusion as soon as the situation come back to normal.'' Thailand, the largest buyer of Myanmar natural gas, imports 15 to 20 percent of its national gas requirement from its western neighbour. Around 70 percent of the country's electricity demand is supplied by gas-fired power plants.
The M-9, one of five offshore blocks in the Martaban Gulf operated by PTTEP under a 25-year concession awarded by the Myanmar government, was expected to start pumping natural gas to Thailand in 2012.
At the midday break, shares in PTTEP were down 0.7 percent at 134 baht, while the overall Thai main index <.SETI> was down 0.02 percent.
($1=34.24 Baht) REUTERS PBB RN1550