Thailand’s oldest oilfield to get 300 million baht redevelopment

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Thailand’s oldest oilfield is set for redevelopment with a budget of 300 million baht, as announced by the Defence Energy Department’s Northern Petroleum Development Centre (NPDC).

The redevelopment plan of Fang Oilfield in Chiang Mai includes upgrading the oil refinery to Euro5 standards, enabling it to produce lower-sulphur diesel that is safe for car engines, according to Montri Jeennakorn, director of the NPDC.

Currently, the refinery can only pump high-sulphur diesel and fuel oil at a rate of 600 barrels per day, which is insufficient for private-sector investment. Accelerating the current pumping process would lead to faster depletion of the crude oil reserves.

Montri claimed that with proper management, the oilfield could remain productive for another 50 years.

“The oil we are producing now is meaningful to the army and it would be beneficial during a war when there is no access for oil tankers. We cannot be sure that the oil from the private sector will be enough, and whether it fits the law or not.”

Recently, the Move Forward Party (MFP) requested the army to transfer the oilfield to the government, arguing that oil production is not a military responsibility. The Ministry of Defence expressed willingness to transfer the field but emphasised the need for effective future management, reported Bangkok Post.

In related news, plans to bolster Thailand’s strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) are encountering pushback from industry executives due to financial constraints. Thailand’s Energy Minister Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, spearheaded an initiative to increase national oil reserve security by expanding the SPR as detailed in the 2024 oil plan. Pirapan aims to increase Thailand’s oil reserves, both crude and refined, from 50 days to 90 days of coverage.

In other news, a convoy of trucks hit the roads as truckers in northeast Thailand protest against rising diesel prices which are massively cutting into their profits, demanding the government cap the price at 30 baht per litre.

Chiang Mai NewsEconomy NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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