Energy security linked to firm borders

Energy security linked to firm borders

Energy supplies will be more secure once territorial disputes between Thailand and Cambodia are resolved, Department of Mineral Fuels director-general Songpob Polchan said on Friday.

Mr Songpob said that the sooner Thailand and Cambodia are able to work out their differences, the sooner they can exploit natural gas reserves and ensure energy security, especially with energy consumption rising in both countries every year. 

He said the border dispute around the Preah Vihear temple is unrelated to a separate maritime dispute. Even if the border problem has been settled and drilling concession has been granted, it will be another 10 years before the gas could be extracted. He urged the government to consider public sentiment on the issue. 

Currently Thailand's natural gas production rate is 3.6 to 3.8 billion cubic feet per day, while domestic demand is at 4.8 billion cubic feet a day. The department has been tasked with sustaining the production capacity from five to 10 years by tapping more small reserves, according to Mr Songpob. 

The Energy Ministry is looking to explore additional energy sources in neighbouring countries such as Myanmar and to extend domestic concessions. Unless Thailand has more energy sources by 2022, it will have to import about 20 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year.   

Gas consumption in the country is growing by about 5% annually - with 62.2% currently used for electricity generation, 17.7% by industry, 5.2% for transportation and 13.9% by refineries. 

In 2012, Thailand had a total of 76 petroleum concessions which generated 160 billion baht. The department was currently in talks with major refineries, he said 


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