Thailand regasification capacity to nearly double by 2030

(Reuters) - Thailand's annual gas regasification capacity will nearly double by the end of the decade as LNG imports are set to rise to replace declining domestic production, a senior executive at energy company PTT said on Tuesday.

The country's LNG imports hit a record high this year as gas supply from the Gulf of Thailand fell during the handover of the fields' concessions between Chevron and PTTEP , M.L. Peekthong Thongyai, senior vice president for PTT's gas business unit, said at the Gastech conference.

State-controlled PTT is Thailand's largest energy company.

The country's gas consumption stood close to 4.8 billion cubic feet (136 million cubic meters) per day with LNG imports meeting just over a third of its demand, Peekthong added.

He expects LNG imports to fall to "a more manageable level" at the end of this year or first quarter of next year as domestic gas production could recover. However, gas production is set to decline in the long run which will require more imports.

Thailand's regasification capacity is set to rise to about 30 million metric tons by the end of the decade, up from 19 million tons currently, Peekthong said.

PTT is looking to diversify LNG imports and reduce pricing risks by buying from different locations and using a variety of benchmarks, he added.

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