Bids for petroleum blocks face delay

The bidding for the Erawan and Bongkot petroleum blocks in the Gulf of Thailand may be delayed further, from next March to the second quarter of 2017, says Energy Minister Anantaporn Kanjanarat. The Energy Ministry had aimed for the new auction of gas fields to take place in the first quarter of next year. Gen Anantaporn said the potential delay stems from complications with the amended Petroleum Act. He did not elaborate. But energy experts who declined to be named said there is no problem with the revised Petroleum Act. They pointed instead to the Petroleum Committee, which remains reluctant to select a method of benefit sharing. “They have not yet decided which method will better benefit Thailand in the long term, and it’s not an easy task because no one knows for sure which one is better,” said an energy expert. “But what they know for sure is that activists are ready to attack them if the committee makes any decision that contradicts their demands.” 

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