Chevron Corporation is to start up the $3.1bn natural-gas project Platong II in the Gulf of Thailand in 2011, one year ahead of schedule.

The shallow water Platong II development, which is located 120 miles offshore, is designed to process 420 million cubic feet of natural gas per day at its peak.

Chevron, which owns 69.8% of Platong II, is working on the project in collaboration with Mitsui Oil Exploration and Thailand’s state-owned PTT PCL.

Much of Thailand’s natural gas supply comes from the Gulf of Thailand, where Chevron operates 14 blocks.

According to the International Energy Agency, natural gas consumption in Asia’s emerging economies is projected to rise 65% to 463 million tonnes of oil equivalent during 2008-20.