Thailand has crude oil reserves for 60-70 days
Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow on Tuesday allayed fears of oil shortage, saying the country now has crude oil reserves for 60 to 70 days.
Supattanapong said the country has doubled its oil reserves from 30 days in the normal situation because of the global energy crisis caused by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
He said the oil reserves situation was reported at the meeting of the National Security Council chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday.
It was the first time that Prayut had used an NSC meeting to discuss the energy crisis.
The energy minister said the meeting was useful because all scenarios in all dimensions were discussed.
The Energy Ministry presented all contingency plans in case of an oil shortage in the country, Supattanapong said.
He added that the Commerce Ministry, the Agriculture Ministry and key law enforcement agencies also presented their plans to cope with the situation if an oil shortage occurred.
He said the NSC’s oil emergency meeting was held because the Thai government could not predict how long the Russia-Ukraine conflict would continue.
But Supattanapong said the chance was not high for an oil shortage to occur in Thailand.
“From what I heard at the meeting, the country has made good preparations up to a level. So we exchanged information for the sake of cooperation in case of an emergency. The meeting was like a rehearsal,” the energy minister said.
Apart from crude oil reserves of up to 70 days, Thailand also has LPG gas in reserve for up to 20 days.
“We don’t worry much about LPG because we have LPG separation plants. But we have to import a lot of crude oil, so we have increased the reserve to 60-70 days, compared to the 30 days in a normal situation,” Supattanapong said.
He added that the government has sought cooperation from refineries to look for more sources of crude oil and natural gas in case the war escalated and the transportation of oil and gas was disrupted.
When asked if the government would go ahead with a plan to build a coal-powered electricity plant in Krabi province to cope with possible oil shortage, the energy minister said the existing coal-powered plants should be enough.
To prepare for possible oil shortage, the government would indefinitely delay its plan to stop the operations of the eighth to 11th coal-powered plants in Mae Moh, Lampang province, the energy minister added.
When asked whether the government would go ahead with its plan to seek voluntary contributions from the six major refineries to the Oil Fuel Fund, Supattanapong said the Energy Ministry might soon get a positive reply from the refineries.