Natural gas is expected to play a declining role in energy production in Thailand, says Thailand’s Energy Ministry.
Permanent secretary Norkhun Sitthipong yesterday said the new revised power development plan has been completed and calls for natural gas making up less than half the energy mix in the country.
The rest will be from imported electricity, imported coal and renewable energy.
Natural gas now accounts for 72 percent of all fuel used in power generation in Thailand, followed by coal at 20 percent, domestic hydropower at 5 percent and imported power from Laos at 2 percent.
Domestic natural gas production is expected to peak in 2015 and then decline if no new fields are discovered.
Total natural gas available in the national pipeline grid will rise to 3.902 billion cubic feet per day next year from 3.2 billion cfpd now.
The Mineral Fuels Department said new production will include 130 million cfpd from Chevron’s Ubon gas field and an additional 220 million cfpd from PTT Exploration and Production’s South Bongkot field in the Gulf of Thailand.
Last year, Chevron’s Plathong 2 field added 330 million cfpd to the system.
Demand for gas in Thailand may increase to 5.2 billion cfpd in 2016 and nearly 7 billion cfpd in 2030 from 4.3 billion cfpd now. “We need more gas, not only from local resources but also from imports of both gas and liquefied natural gas (LPG),” Nokhun said on the sidelines of the World Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur.
The department is expected to offer exploration and production licences next month, with a total of 22 petroleum fields, both onshore offshore, being auctioned.
The Energy Ministry expects to restart talks with Cambodia soon regarding joint exploration and production activities on overlapping claim areas.
Meanwhile, PTT Plc, Thailand’s sole natural gas seller, has been assigned to procure more LNG imports. It plans to purchase 5 million tonnes of LNG a year, up from 1 million tonnes now.
Chief executive Pailin Chuchottaworn said imported LNG is more expensive than gas from the Gulf of Thailand and may eventually affect the country’s power costs.
“As most people resist new exploration and production as well as coal-fuelled power plant construction, power users must accept this condition,” he said.