Director-General of the Department of Mineral Fuels, Ministry of Energy, Songpope Polachan has revealed that currently Thailand demands 1.9 million barrels of fuel per day while it can produce fuel at only 44 percent of the demand. Based on the assumption that the domestic fuel demand increases 3 percent each year, by 2022 the demand should have risen to 2.6 million barrels per day. And if Thailand does not develop alternative fuel sources, its production capacity will go down to 18 percent of the demand in the next decade. As a result, Mr. Songpope is suggesting that the opening of new bids for petroleum concessions is crucial in order to stabilize Thailand’s fuel production level and reduce foreign energy imports.
Mr. Songpope went on to say that if there is a progress in joint efforts between Thailand and Myanmar as well as Cambodia in developing petroleum sources in overlapping continental shelf areas, it would benefit Thailand’s energy security. However, Thailand should rely not only on imports, but also on itself by opening more petroleum concessions in order to strengthen the country’s fuel production capacity.