Oil consumption expected to increase as prices rise
Thai oil consumption is expected to grow by 10% this year for both diesel and petrol as demand is increasing even as retail prices rise, says the Department of Energy Business (DOEB).
DOEB director-general Witoon Kulcharoenwirat said retail prices of petrol and diesel have risen by around 2-3 baht per litre this year, but fuel demand is still rising.
DOEB reported yesterday fuel demand grew in the single digits for the first nine months this year. It expects demand to rise further the remaining three months of the year as the high season for tourism should result in more people using more fuel.
"A better domestic economy and a substantial rise in the number of tourists this year are expected to push demand for fuel to grow higher," said Mr Witoon.
From January to September this year, petrol demand grew 3.9% to an average 30.01 million litres used per day, while demand for diesel increased by 2.5% to an average 63.8 million litres used per day.
For the whole year of 2017, petrol demand was expected to grow by 10% to an average of 31.85 million litres per day, while demand for diesel will increase to 68 million litres per day.
DOEB also reported demand for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the first nine months, which grew by 2.4% to an average of 16,600 tonnes per day.
Demand for compressed natural gas (CNG) declined by 12.4% to an average of 6.84 million tonnes per day.
"Motorists have switched from LPG and CNG to petrol since global oil prices collapsed," said Mr Witoon.
The number of petrol stations also rose significantly this year, he said.
As of June, the total number of petrol stations was 26,988 stations, compared with 25,613 at the end of 2016 because of rising petrol demand and massive expenditures by oil retailers to expand.
Major oil companies are expanding substantially. PTG Energy Plc, for example, is operating 1,506 petrol stations, up from 1,240 stations.
The number of PTT petrol stations rose to 1,721, up from 1,604 stations.
DOEB said it will monitor the safety of petrol stations very strictly. Tighter regulations include a measure to force every station to have at least one employee trained on oil regulations and safety standards working in the stations.