Thailand’s Energy Policy Board has scheduled a special meeting on Tuesday to discuss measures to cushion the impacts from oil price increases on the cost of living, following drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s major oil installations over the weekend. The attacks stopped about half of the Saudi oil industry’s production and sent global oil prices soaring.
Another meeting of the Energy Ministry, with oil companies and related agencies, is scheduled for Thursday to map out reserve plans.
Global oil futures surged to $71 per barrel today before falling back to $67/barrel, representing an increase of 12%. Initially, it was predicted that the crude oil price would increase an average of one dollar per barrel for the first week and, if the situation does not improve for up to six weeks, the price could surge by 5-15 dollars per barrel.
Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said today that the global price hike will cause domestic oil prices to be adjusted up by about one baht per litre.
He disclosed that the government’s Oil Fund, amounting to 40 billion baht, could be used to cushion the impacts from oil price hikes, or the government could ask oil companies to postpone price increases for a while.
The energy minister said Thailand will not be seriously affected if there is a reduced supply of oil from Saudi Arabia because Thailand imports only about 170,000 barrels/day the country, which can be recouped from other sources.
Thailand’s crude oil reserves now stand at 3.366 billion litres plus 1.848 billion litres of finished products, which is enough for 54 days, while LPG reserves amounting to 131 million kilograms can last for 13 days.