Joint Gulf plan moves closer

  • The government is set to go ahead with a long-awaited joint development of petroleum resources in an energy-rich area in the Gulf of Thailand claimed by Thailand and Cambodia.
  • Both sides discussed possible cooperation to make use of energy resources in the overlapping claim area (OCA) as a solution to energy shortages.
  • The cabinet on Tuesday had an informal discussion on the realisation of joint development of petroleum resources estimated at THB5tn.
  • It followed a positive signal from Cambodia, which is keen to reopen talks on joint development. The project would follow the model of the Thailand-Malaysia Joint Development Area (JDA).
  • The talks on OCA development between Thailand and Cambodia were to resume as part of efforts tom decrease dependency on expensive liquified natural gas (LNG).
  • It is expected that the area will become a new natural gas source in the upper part of the Gulf of Thailand.
  • The move to resume talks comes after Thailand faced higher energy prices, especially for LNG. There was also a rise in LNG imports following a drop in gas supply from the Gulf.
  • The proportion of gas coming from the Gulf of Thailand has fallen from 64% to 54% while imported LNG increased from 8% to 20% of the total.
  • Thailand is now trying to reduce imports of LNG by using other feuls for power generation.

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