US-IRAN TENSIONS: THAILAND PLANS TO INCREASE CRUDE OIL SUPPLY

LINDA KHOO HUI LI

BANGKOK, Jan 7 (Bernama) – Thailand plans to increase crude oil supply in the country if tensions between United States and Iran escalate.

Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said the government planned to increase the country's crude oil supply by 13 per cent, from 130 kilo barrels to 160 kilo barrels per day.

He said crude oil reserves for Thailand remained at 50 days, based on oil consumption of 2.988 billion litres, while cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) stood at 101,000 tonnes, equivalent to 17 days of consumption.

“We have been closely monitoring the escalating tensions between United States and Iran.

“The country’s crude oil reserves are manageable,” he told a media conference after attending a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan o-cha at the Government House here, today.

He added the public should not panic about the fuel price hike.

“Measures will be taken to reduce the impact. State Oil Fund which has about 40 billion baht is ready to implement urgent measures including to avoid fuel price hike in the local market,” he said.

The escalating troubles led oil prices to rise a further two per cent yesterday, pushing Brent above US$70 a barrel – the first time in more than six months. 

He said the State Oil Fund committee will meet on Jan 10 to evaluate the situation.

The killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike outside Baghdad airport on Friday has sparked outrage and revenge threats from Tehran, raising fears of an uncontrolled escalation in the region.

Meanwhile, national police chief Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda had instructed all police departments to place heightened state of alert at the US, Iranian and Israeli embassies, consular offices, as well as residences in Thailand.

Besides that, he also instructed police officers to be deployed to churches and mosques in the country.

Earlier, Thai top police commander led by Pol Lt Gen Piya Uthayo visited the US Embassy, Israeli and Iranian embassies here in Bangkok to discuss measures to beef up security at the embassies, consular offices and residences.

-- BERNAMA 

 

Tags: Thailand, Crude Oil, Supply, Tension, Measures