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120 years on, Shell hungry for Thai gas

Royal Dutch Shell is looking to expand its business in Thailand to liquefied natural gas (LNG) and tap strong gas demand in the local market, says new country chairman Asada Harinsuit.

Published: 16/10/2012 at 01:55 AM

Royal Dutch Shell is looking to expand its business in Thailand to liquefied natural gas (LNG) and tap strong gas demand in the local market, says new country chairman Asada Harinsuit.

Mr Asada noted that gas demand has skyrocketed here because gas is cleaner and cost-competitive.

“Thailand’s power demand will double in the next decade and concerns about climate change have been growing, making gas a more promising choice for the country,” he said.

Mr Asada, also global vice-president in specialties of Royal Dutch Shell, succeeded Pissawan Achanapornkul as head of Shell’s operation in Thailand since the beginning of this month.

Mrs Pissawan was assigned to a new post in Britain. The company is celebrating 120 years in Thailand.

“The government policy for allowing the private sector to invest in LNG-related businesses in Thailand will determine greater use of gas,” Mr Asada said.

So far, only energy flagship PTT Plc has played a major role in gas trading.

He said Shell has advanced LNG production technology in many regions, each of which is linked to a production plant. It is also developing floating LNG in Australia and has the largest gas production project called Pearl GTL in Qatar, he added.

Energy demand in Asia will increase by half over the next 10-15 years. The world’s population will increase to from 7 billion this year to 9 billion, with an expanding middle class and new upper class leading to higher demand in the global market.

Siri Jirapongphan, executive director of the Petroleum Institute of Thailand, said Shell can become an LNG supplier in the Thai market but not a distributor. He said the domestic gas supply will be depleted within 15 years and LNG imports will become one of the major energy resources of Thailand in the future.

“As a leading energy supplier globally, we foresee that access to energy sources will be more difficult in the future with fiercer competition,” he said.

Thailand’s retail oil market has been competitive, challenging companies with good technology and human resources.

Shell is the largest oil retailer in Thailand but its market share has marginally edged down recently. Mr Asada said the company will launch new products to lure more motorists.

“We believe the advanced technology of Shell oil products will enable us to keep our position as one of the top players in Thailand,” said Mr Asada.

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