Thai Energy Min: Petroleum Exploration Bidding Round Opens May

BANGKOK Apr 20, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Thailand's Energy Ministry is opening a new bidding round of concession for 65 onshore and offshore petroleum blocks in May, said Minister Piyasvasti Amranand.

The 20th petroleum concession bidding, which will be for the period of one year, covers a total area of 235,576 square kilometers, Piyasvasti said.

Of the total number of blocks, 56 are onshore and nine are in the Gulf of Thailand.

In the previous round that lasted from July 2005 to June 2006, the Thai government had offered a total of 82 offshore and onshore blocks, covering 440,704 square kilometers in area.

A total of 16 concessions were awarded for 21 blocks in the 19th bidding round.

On Friday, the Energy Ministry signed an agreement with two consortiums, allowing them to explore onshore petroleum blocks.

Adani Port Infrastructure Private. Ltd. received the concession rights for blocks L39/48, while the concession rights for blocks L3/48 and L9/48 were granted to JSX Energy (Thailand) Ltd.

If petroleum is discovered, they will have to apply for production rights, which are valid for 20-30 years.

The Department of Mineral Fuels said in a statement that it expects to see investment of $85 million in the next three years.

The department also expects government revenue from petroleum business activities of THB91.55 billion.

Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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