August 29, 2014 / 11:16 AM / 3 years ago

Thailand stops petroleum exports on military government's request

BANGKOK, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Thailand’s military government has asked oil and gas producers to temporarily stop exports of petroleum products, as it wants to focus on the domestic market and review the structure of the whole system, a senior energy ministry official said on Friday.

The move is part of the government’s energy reform drive which includes shifting domestic fuel prices from a highly regulated system to a market-based one.

Thailand, a net oil importer, had exported 12,000 barrels of oil per day from domestic resources, but that number has dropped to zero since the junta led by General Prayuth Chan-Ocha took power in May, Puangthip Silpasart, deputy director general at the ministry’s Mineral Fuels Department, told reporters.

“Since the army council took power, General Prayuth has asked cooperation from private sector to stop the export and the private sector has so far cooperated fully,” Puangthip said.

The energy department is also studying details on how to open a new petroleum concession in the country, she added, without giving details.

On Thursday, the military government revamped its domestic fuel pricing mechanism, resulting in a reduction in gasoline prices and an increase in diesel prices. (Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Mark Potter)

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