03:30 GMT15 May 2021
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    ABU DHABI (Sputnik) - Thailand, which faces a natural gas shortage, plans to increase its imports of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) and sees Russia and Canada as potential new suppliers, Thailand's Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan told Sputnik.

    "We are planning to increase import of LNG from various countries. We are now importing from the Middle East, Australia, the United States, South Asia. We are looking for additional import from Canada, and various other countries. Russia is one of them," Jirapongphan said on the sidelines of the ADIPEC conference in Abu Dhabi.

    The minister added that Thailand, which already imports 5 million tonnes of LNG per year, plans to increase its LNG imports to 20-25 million tonnes in the next 10-15 years as its own natural gas resources continue to decline.

    "We are open to discussions and there have already been some exploratory meetings [with Russia], anything we can do together will be splendid and beneficial for Thailand as well," Jirapongphan added, asked whether the country had already started talks with Russia on LNG imports.

    Lower Oil Prices Suit Southeast Asian Nation

    The Energy Minister went on saying that Thailand is satisfied with the dropping oil prices, currently valued at around $70 dollars per barrel since it believes this situation to be suitable for the country.

    "Not too expensive price of oil suits us — $67 [per barrel], yes. Anything that is plus-minus $70 [per barrel], that will be OK. We have learned to live with that [price range]," Jirapongphan said on the sidelines of the ADIPEC conference in Abu Dhabi, asked whether the continued decline in oil prices over the previous month had been negatively affecting Thailand.

    READ MORE: Gazprom Sees Place for Both Russian Gas, US LNG in Europe — Deputy Chairman

    The LNG tanker Clean Ocean is pictured during the first US delivery of liquefied natural gas to LNG terminal in Swinoujscie, Poland June 8, 2017.
    © REUTERS / Agencja Gazata/Cezary Aszkielowicz
    Earlier in the day, oil prices went down by almost $3 to approximately $67 per barrel, continuing a month-long drop in value amid shrinking demand and ample supply on the market. According to the market data, on November 14 the price of Brent crude oil fell below the mark of $65 per barrel for the first time since March 16.

    The statement comes amid a World Energy Outlook 2018 report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that projected oil prices to hit $88 per barrel in 2025. According to the outlook of the International Energy Agency's (IEA), the growth of global oil demand is estimated at about 1.3 million barrels per day this year and 1.4 million barrels per day in 2019.

    'Constructive Politics' to Ensure Stable Oil Market

    Thailand stresses the need for "constructive politics" to ensure stability in the global energy market, Jirapongphan told Sputnik, commenting on US President Donald Trump's recent call on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to not cut oil output.

    "Politics has always been mixed in the price of energy, it’s a fact of life. Whether we like it or not, it’s part of it. We hope that there will be constructive politics that will lead to a stable market, that’s what we wish for," Jirapongphan said on the sidelines of the ADIPEC conference in Abu Dhabi, asked whether he supported Trump’s statement.

    The minister stressed that Thailand would support any proposal to create stability in the market as "swinging [oil] prices are not good for both consumers and producers."

    "All the friendly collaboration and discussion will lead to a stable price and regime in the immediate future and will spell good deeds for all those concerned," Jirapongphan added.

    READ MORE: China Axing US LNG Amid Trade War, Bringing Trump's Gas Dream to Naught

    Thailand's Energy Minister has made the statements amid Trump's warning to Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members against cutting oil production on November 12, the US president has stressed that oil prices should be "much lower based on supply."

    The comments were made on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) that opened its doors on November 12 and will last through November 15.


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