U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Country Analysis Note
- While Thailand is an oil and natural gas producer, the country relies on imports to sustain its rising fuel demand. Domestic oil reserves and supply are limited in Thailand, and the country imports a significant share of its oil consumption. However, Thailand holds large proved reserves of natural gas, and natural gas production has increased substantially in the last few years. High demand growth over the past two decades led Thailand to become a net importer of natural gas.
- Petroleum and other liquids account for the greatest share of the country's annual primary energy consumption (more than 38% in 2012), followed closely by natural gas (33%). Biomass and solid waste represents almost 16%. Of total consumption, coal accounts for roughly 13% and other renewables, including hydroelectricity, represents nearly 2%.
- As of January 2014, Thailand held 449 million barrels of proven crude oil reserves, a decrease of 4 million barrels from the prior year, according to the Oil and Gas Journal (OGJ). Roughly 80% of Thailand's crude oil comes from offshore fields found in the Gulf of Thailand. A majority of this output is produced by Chevron, making it the largest crude oil producer in Thailand.
- Chevron operates Benjamas, the country's largest producing crude oil field, Benjamas North, Pakakrong fields, the Lanta field, and the Tantawan field, among others. State-run PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP), a subsidiary of PTT Public Company Limited, operates the Sirikit field and is also a significant producer. Independent companies, Salamander Energy and Coastal Energy operate the onshore and shallow water fields Bualuang, Songkhla, and Bua Ban.
- While recent political unrest had previously stalled government incentives to attract more investment for upstream activities and led to a reduction in upstream investment by PTT, Thailand is set to auction new licenses for 22 blocks for the first time in seven years.
- The Petroleum Act and the Petroleum Income Tax Act enacted in 1971, together with subsequent amendments, provide incentives to concessionaires engaged in upstream activities. However, upstream investors are awaiting a new timeline for changes to the Petroleum Act, which are necessary to extend current concessions held by foreign investors without disruption to their exploration investment.
- In 2013, Thailand's total petroleum and other liquids production was around 445,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) and has been hovering around the same level since 2011. Of total production, crude oil and lease condensates represented more than half and natural gas plant liquids, biofuels, and refining gains made up the remaining shares.
- Most of Thailand's condensate production comes from Chevron's Pailin field and the PTT's Bongkot field.
- Total oil consumption remained above 1 million bbl/d of oil in 2013. To meet demand, Thailand imported almost 700,000 bbl/d of crude oil and products net of total oil exports in 2013. More than 70% of its crude oil imports originate from the Middle East, and another 11% are from other Asian suppliers, according to Thai customs data.
- With eight operating refineries, Thailand has the second largest capacity (1.2 million bbl/d) in Southeast Asia, behind Singapore, according to FACTS Global Energy.
- With a total trade balance of 68.4 million barrels in 2013, Thailand is a net exporter of petroleum products. After supplying the domestic market, oil products including high-speed diesel (HSD), Grade 5 fuel oil, and aviation fuel, are exported to regional markets.
- Thailand is the third largest producer of biofuels in Asia, trailing only China and Indonesia. According to the most recent EIA data, Thailand's biofuels output was more than 30,000 bbl/d in 2013. The country currently has 21 ethanol plants in operation using molasses and cassava as feedstock. There are a total of 11 biodiesel plants that use variations of palm oil and other feedstock.
- Following a peak in 2006, Thailand's natural gas reserves have generally declined. As of January 2014, Thailand held 9 Trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proven natural gas reserves, according to OGJ. The Bangkot field, located in the Malay Basin, is the country's largest producing natural gas field.
- Chevron, Japan's Mitsui Oil Exploration Company (MOECO) and Thailand's PTT play significant roles in Thailand's gas sector. While cumulative investments since the 1970s have resulted in an extensive acreage portfolio for MOECO, PTTEP hold sizeable stakes in the Bongkot and Arthit fields. In addition to private investment, Thailand's partnership with Malaysia to develop the Malay Basin has contributed to Thailand's natural gas production.
- Dry natural gas production and consumption were on par until 1999 when consumption began to outpace production. In 2013, Thailand produced 1,476 billion cubic feet (Bcf) and consumed 1,843 Bcf of natural gas, according to BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2014 and the Thai government. Net imports in the form of liquefied natural gas primarily from Qatar and dry natural gas from offshore fields in Myanmar resulted in nearly 367 Bcf.
- Thailand's natural gas transmission infrastructure is extensive. PTT's transmission infrastructure stretches 2,308 miles, which includes 1,392 miles of onshore and 916 miles of subsea pipelines. In addition, the national gas pipeline system connects onshore and offshore gas fields to various gas separation plants, power plants, and industrial users.
- Thailand generated over 177 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2013, according to Thailand's Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO). Fossil fuels, particularly natural gas, meet nearly all of Thailand's power requirements. Natural gas-fired generation consisted of 119 TWh, or 67% of the total electricity supply, followed by imported coal and lignite as the second largest feedstock with a 20% share. Oil-fired generation, mostly comprised of fuel oil, made up less than 1% of the power mix. Most of Thailand's renewable power generation is from hydroelectricity, comprising 3% of generation, or over 5 TWh in 2013. Other key renewable sources include biomass and biogas which made up almost 2% of generation in 2013.
- Despite environmental concerns or issues caused by coal-fired power, the EPPO is considering increasing coal-fired generation as a means to reduce dependency on natural gas imports for electricity generation.
Analysis Last Updated: November 2014
Overview data for Thailand+ EXPAND ALL
-- = Not applicable; NA = Not available; E = Estimate value
Sources: EIA. For more detailed data, see International Energy Statistics.
Data last updated: May 30, 2013
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