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Consumer protection groups have now joined the anti-oil exploration networks in their opposition against the National Energy Policy Committee’s plan to auction off concessions of 29 new offshore and onshore blocks for petroleum exploration and production.
Former Bangkok senator and a member of the National Reform staging the auction and did not wait until the NRC has completed with its reform roadmap which includes energy reform.
She pointed out that the NRC’s panel on energy reform has between 6-12 months to finish its job and the NEPC can just wait.
Another observation which Ms Rosana made concerns the concessions for offshore blocks adjacent to Bongkot and Erawan oil fields. She suspected that the bidding might be designed to benefit current concession holders such as PTT Exploration and Chevron.
The former senator went on pointing out that Block 1/57, for instance, is adjacent to area being disputed between Thailand and Cambodia and may risk sparking off a border conflict between the two countries.
Also, Ms Rosana said that the 23 onshore blocks are all in the Northeast and most of them are believed to have gas deposits whose exploration and production may cause widespread impacts.
The consumer protection groups and the energy awareness networks met today to announce their joint cooperation to oppose the new petroleum concessions bidding.–
The National Energy Policy Committee today agreed to put on auction 29 land and sea plots for petroleum exploration and production.
Bidding for the 23 land plots and another six in the Gulf will be opened on February 18.
Mr Dusit Nakhontap, deputy permanent secretary of energy, said today that there are new conditions that the successful bidders will have to adhere to. These include no exploration activities in 1A watershed areas, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and tourist destinations.
Also, the successful bidders will be required to make financial contributions amounting to a minimum of one million baht annually for educational development in the localities during the exploration period and the amount will increase to two million baht per year during the production period.
The successful bidders will also be charged 5-15 percent royalties and pay income tax amounting to 50 percent of the profits.
Meanwhile, energy groups in Nakhon Ratchasima today submitted a petition to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha through the Damrongtham centre demanding that all petroleum concessions be revoked.
The groups claimed that most oil-producing countries in the world in the world, including Asean, have scrapped concessions which take too much advantage of the host countries.