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Thai oil, gas and petrochemicals

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Oil and gas

To 2023, BMI believe that Thailand will remain driven by strong oil and gas demand which will far outweigh domestic production. With decline in oil and gas reserves, BMI expects long term oil and gas production trends to remain stagnant or negative, despite a slight increase in the medium term. However, BMI has said that the 21st licensing round scheduled for early this year, poses an upside risk to current reserves and production forecasts.

Looking at storage, in August last year, UK based Salamander Energy received first oil for the newly converted Suksan Salamander Floating Storage and Offtake Vessel (FSO) at the Bualuang field in the Gulf of Thailand. The FSO arrived at the location in July 2014 and is now fully operational following hook up and commissioning in May.


BMI has warned that even though the Thai petrochemicals industry is seeing more certainty and growth as the political situation stabilises, political risk will remain a significant factor moving forward. The situation in the country has improved in recent months and this, according to BMI, has led to improved performance in the automobile and auto parts manufacturing sector, along with agro industrial exports and overall manufacturing. Due to this, BMI believes that the country’s petrochemicals sector can look forward to a year of recovery this year. The crisis has however limited the growth potential in Thailand’s infrastructure and construction sectors, which are also major petrochemicals consumers, particularly in the PVC segment, however like the automotive industry, last year’s contraction is expected to turn to growth this year.

BMI has also said that the industry should be protected from domestic economic woes with increased exports. Petrochemicals output is exported directly or is used in the export of finished goods. Also, most petrochemicals operations are located in Map Ta Phut, putting them away from the centre of political unrest in Bangkok. The main uncertainties facing the sector, according to BMI relate to project approval by the new military regime and the regulatory regime.

Edited from report briefs by Claira Lloyd

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