By Watcharapong Thongrung
Energy Minister Arak Chonlatanon says he will continue the policy of his predecessor Pichai Naripthaphan towards installing oil pipelines in the North and Northeast.
He said there was no reason to cancel the policy. He also ordered PTT to conduct a feasibility study on investment in the project.
Pichai initiated the idea last year. He asked PTT to boost its shareholding in Thai Petroleum Pipeline Co to more 50 per cent from the current 30 per cent to give the energy giant the biggest say in the pipeline company’s management.
The Department of Energy Business is also studying whether it is necessary to construct such pipelines and who would invest in them and in the oil-distribution tanks. All of these are estimated to cost more than Bt10 billion. It is also studying the possible impacts of this policy on the public.
Thai Petroleum’s existing oil pipelines run from Rayong to Saraburi province. The ministry thinks they should be extended to the North and the Northeast. This could help lower the cost of oil delivery to those regions and reduce fuel prices in those provinces by 20 satang per litre.
The Energy Business Department’s director-general, Viraphol Jirapraditkul, said it was studying the appropriate share price of Thai Petroleum and pros and cons of PTT boosting its shareholding in the company.
Pailin Chuchottaworn, president and chief executive officer of PTT, said his company was still keen on acquiring additional shares of Thai Petroleum to serve the government’s policy.