Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thailand to raise oil products costs

Rising oil prices in the world market are expected to force oil traders in Thailand to increase the price of every oil product nationwide by at least 40 satang (0.40 baht) per litre next week, industry sources said.

Sources said oil traders in Thailand are being forced to raise their prices by at least 40 satang per litre next week as they could no longer suffer losses. Most oil dealers wanted to increase prices but could not in the past because PTT, Thailand's largest fuel trader, maintained its prices, forcing other dealers to follow suit.

Actions to be taken by traders come as the crude oil price in the Dubai market closed at US$79.5 per barrel Friday while signs that prices would continue to increase appear imminent in response to concerns arising from the Turkish parliament's vote on Wednesday to authorise cross-border military attacks in northern Iraq against Kurdish separatists.

Thailand's Energy Minister Piyasvasti Amaranand said he had ordered PTT to speed its plans to expand natural gas production sources because a delay would force electricity plants to use bunker oil, eventually affecting electricity production prices.

Mr. Piyasvasti said he was informed by PTT that a Thai-Malaysian joint production of natural gas in the Gulf of Thailand with a capacity of 300 million cubic feet per day would now come onstream in January, delayed from this month due to repairs on new pipeline.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Gen. Surayud Chulanont said Saturday during his weekly broadcast to the public that the Commerce Ministry was trying its best to solve rising commodity prices in the country.

In the long term, Thailand may need to look for alternative energy such as hydro-powered electric plants with low production cost compared to others, Gen. Surayud said. (TNA)

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