Thailand's military-appointed assembly approved an amendment to a petroleum law on Thursday (30/03), which will give companies more options for exploration and production operations. (Reuters Photo/Athit Perawongmetha)
Thailand Amends Law to Give More Energy Exploration Options
BY :PANARAT THEPGUMPANAT AND PATPICHA TANAKASEMPIPAT
MARCH 31, 2017
Bangkok. Thailand's military-appointed assembly approved an amendment to a petroleum law on Thursday (30/03), which will give companies more options for exploration and production operations.
Currently, oil and gas companies must get a concession to operate in a Thai field. The proposed amendment will add the option of striking production sharing agreements (PSA) or service contracts.
Thailand's Erawan gas concession, operated by Chevron Corp., and the Bongkot gas concession, operated by state-backed PTTEP Exploration and Production PCL, expire in 2022 and 2023.
The government wanted new arrangements in place before these are concessions were renegotiated.
During the parliamentary session, a contested clause allowing the government to set up a National Oil Company was dropped from the bill. By taking a stake through a national energy company, the government could get a share of the profits from any block while also potentially bearing some of the risk.
Although the majority-state owned PTT Pcl is the biggest shareholder in PTTEP, private shareholders still have a say over its activities and also take some of the profits.
Parliament said the cabinet must set up a committee within 60 days to conduct further studies on how a state company should operate. The study must be completed within one year.
Critics say such a company is not necessary and could be an avenue for corruption.