PTT supports public hearings on petroleum concessions

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BANGKOK, Feb 19 — PTT, Thailand’s state-owned SET-listed oil and gas company, backs the government’s plan to hold a public forum on the 21st round of bidding contests for petroleum exploration and production  President Pailin Chuchottaworn.

Formerly known as the Petroleum Authority of Thailand, PTT has not been invited to the forum, said Mr Pailin, but it is good for concerned parties to exchange information, questions and answers. He said that energy issues covered many details and were technical and concerned parties should consider in-depth information.

He said the 21st round of the bid contests is essential as natural gas will run out in the Gulf of Thailand in seven years. Without new production, Thailand would have to import more liquefied natural gas, which would pose price risks.

Mr Pailin said production sharing contracts (PSC) did not suit Thailand because its natural gas sources were small and posed the investment risks that the government should not bear. He Indonesia’s government having finally ended production sharing contracts and returning to concessions to relieve its burdens as the amount of found petroleum declined.

He confirmed that PTT Exploration and Production Plc will join the 21st round of petroleum concession bidding contests to vie for preferred petroleum sources to maintain its petroleum production position.

Mr Pailin said opponents should not distort information or politicise the issue on the basis of patriotism because that would cause conflicts in society. Dissenters said that concessions would leave the country at a disadvantage because concessionaires would monopolise energy for a long time.

They demand production sharing contracts.

Prime Minister’s Office Minister Panadda Diskul said he invited about 100 people to the Friday forum at Government House and said that Public Relations Department  TV Channel 11 would broadcast the session live from 9am to noon.