September 29, 2009 / 7:11 AM / in 10 years

Thai Q4 natural gas demand to rise-energy official

BANGKOK, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Thailand’s natural gas demand rose to 3.8-3.9 billion cubic feet per day (cfd) in August and September and is expected to rise further to 4 billion cfd in the fourth quarter, a senior Energy Ministry official said.

The rise in demand was mainly attributed to the global economic recovery, which helped boost Thai exports and demand for electricity, Kurujit Nakornthap, director-general of the ministry’s Department of Mineral Fuels, told reporters on Tuesday.

“Gas consumption is likely to reach 4 billion cfd in the fourth quarter if the economy continues to improve,” he said.

State-controlled PTT (PTT.BK), the country’s sole gas distributor, has said Thailand’s gas demand averaged 3.44 billion cfd in 2008.

In the first quarter of 2009, when the economy was in recession, gas consumption fell to 3.28 billion, before recovering to 3.6 billion in the second quarter thanks to rising demand from all industrial clients except large power producers.

Thailand uses natural gas to generate about 70 percent of its electricity, with the rest coming from others sources like coal, hydropower and imports from neighbouring countries.

Despite rising demand, Thailand should not face any problems with gas supplies because new output of about 130 million cfd from the Malaysian-Thai Joint Development Area would come onstream from October and rise to 270 million cfd in the first quarter of 2010, Kurujit said. (Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Alan Raybould)

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