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Government aims to control oil prices

BANGKOK: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday (Mar 7) urged the public to cut back on energy consumption, especially when using private cars, amid soaring oil prices. Prayut said the government would do its best to cushion the impact.

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 8 March 2022, 08:32AM

Retail oil prices in Bangkok yesterday (Mar 7). Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

Retail oil prices in Bangkok yesterday (Mar 7). Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

His call came as the price of Brent crude oil went over US$130 (about B4,200) per barrel in the early hours of yesterday, surpassing the record of $128 in 2012, reports the Bangkok Post.

According to ANI/Sputnik, the price of May futures for Brent was trading up 9.35%, to $129.06 per barrel at 12:28am GMT. At 2:06pm the price reached $130.3, it said.

Prayut said the government has been monitoring the situation, and the soaring prices are a pressing issue the government will address as it finds appropriate measures to cushion the impact.

“We’re urging everyone to help save energy as much as possible, especially in the use of private cars,” he said. “We’ve already taken steps to address the rising prices, but what should we do if they continue when we have a limited budget?”

Earlier, the government decided to cut the diesel excise tax by B3 per litre, off the current B5.99, until May 20 to alleviate the impact of high energy prices.

Relief measures to help cushion the impact are expected to be proposed at a National Energy Policy Committee meeting tomorrow.

Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said the committee, headed by Prayut, will mete out measures and propose them to the cabinet for approval on Mar 15.

“The challenges facing Thailand and other countries - the COVID-19 pandemic, global inflation and the Ukraine-Russia war - are unprecedented and are driving fuel prices and [impacting] the costs of transport and consumer goods,” Mr Thanakorn said.

He insisted the government has been working to address the issue by maintaining the retail price of diesel below B30 a litre.

Meanwhile, members of the tourism sector in Phuket are calling on the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Thailand to find solutions after Russian tourists became unable to make financial transactions due to sanctions against major Russian banks.

In his Facebook post, Bhummikitti Raktaengam, president of the Phuket Tourist Association, said the authorities in Thailand should consider adopting alternative payment systems, such as those that utilise cryptocurrencies, to solve the problem being faced by these tourists.

He said Thailand is not a party in the conflict and it should find solutions to enable businesses to continue under this unusual circumstance. Without alternative payment systems, arrivals from Russia are likely to be affected as long as the crisis drags on, he noted.

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christysweet | 10 March 2022 - 14:20:44

Nuclear reactors can be sabotaged or otherwise weaponized  and the results are not just a building or even a city block but could contaminate entire regions for hundreds of years and they  cost fortunes to build then the employ. limits opp. I'd rather  invest in renewables and solve those problems.. Thailand has all three- tidal, wind and solar yet is still building coal burning units.   

Kamala Pete | 10 March 2022 - 12:24:00

Christy, if you took the time to check out TerraPower you'd find that spent fuel from "old technology" reactors is used as fuel in the new power stations. This reduces the size of the current storage facilities!! It also means that we don't need to dam more rivers or waste huge quantities of exotic resources building enough windmills or solar farms and batteries to supply demand....

Kurt | 10 March 2022 - 01:28:43

Nice Thai saying: "Finding measures to 'cushion' the problem". Money has to come from somewhere, so which Thai fields have to give in and return parts of budgets? Or is it just a nonsense saying to keep population quiet? Don't panic, don't panic.   :-)  Sure fuel prices go up. Be realistic.

christysweet | 09 March 2022 - 14:08:44

Labeling people is deficient in addressing the issue of where does the spent fuel go ?   
And reactor personnel make mistakes- or worse  and the consequences are severe. I don't want a replay of Chernobyl,  the mother of all radioactive steam explosions  anywhere near my home. 

maverick | 09 March 2022 - 12:40:06

Not just nuclear but thorium that can provide base load whilst renewables can do the rest - end of fossil fuel dependence - greens won’t accept Nuclear - what exactly is their agenda ? 

Kamala Pete | 09 March 2022 - 11:30:11

Most "green" generation solutions do more damage than gas or oil plants. The only sustainable, scaleable and safe way to generate clean power is nuclear. And yes, modern reactors are safe. Check out Bill Gates current developments.

christysweet | 09 March 2022 - 10:24:53

Agree Hydro-electric  is destructive. The point is to move away from fossil fuels and start yesterday. Barrages can go anywhere, plenty of coastline is desolate enough to counter NIMBY. 

Kurt | 09 March 2022 - 09:27:26

@Ash Ward, you are right. Sorry, excuse.

maverick | 09 March 2022 - 03:51:16

Huge assumption that large coastline equals abundant tidal energy - where would barrages be installed ? Impact on aquatic ecosystems? Alternative is underwater turbines similar impact on marine life not sure the technology to store energy is there yet either otherwise intermittent supply all for renewables but what about the NIMBY’s ? Hydro has done a lot of harm to river systems and fish spawni

christysweet | 08 March 2022 - 18:55:47

Agree EV is the way to head BUT  where is the electricity going to come from?  Coal is not an answer-  tidal energy is- and with all the coastline TLand has- it could be selling off energy to the north and beat China at its own game. Maybe higher gas prices  is exactly what is needed at this moment in history.  GoGreenNOW

GerryT81 | 08 March 2022 - 16:18:59

There is a solution for all those who don't like Thailand welcoming tourists from Russia or China. Turn your back on Thailand. Problem solved.

Ash Ward | 08 March 2022 - 14:47:57

Sorry Kurt, i have never mentioned or talked about "decent tourist markets." So why ask me?
But yes, i agree, the world is in turmoil.

Pooliekev | 08 March 2022 - 13:16:16

Crikey, Kurt talks sense for once!!!! As for @JohnC just sheer ignorance and racism. Not wanted. 

Kurt | 08 March 2022 - 12:27:01

@ Ash Ward. Problem not solved. Do define 'decent tourist markets', please. The world is in turmoil. Internationally, people have more important matters in mind than a holiday to Thailand were they get captived in a expensive regimental obsolate Omicron situation. Also in their (cold) countries they experience sky rocketing energy prices.

Kurt | 08 March 2022 - 12:12:52

Sit on hands and 'monitore' oil prices. More Thai Gov. can not do. Thailand is not a 'oil player'. Can just lower fuel taxes only. Rising fuel prices will bring inflation, costs of living rising, tourist comings spiral down Already many thai fishing boats not sail out due to fuel prices. 

Kamala Pete | 08 March 2022 - 12:12:01

Rising fuel prices are as predictable as death and taxes. Perhaps the gov should be looking at making it simpler and cheaper to own and run electric vehicles (esp. scooters and tuk tuks) and even look at manufacturing them in Thailand. 

Ash Ward | 08 March 2022 - 10:31:31

Very true JohnC.
Problem solved, as of today flights from Russia to Phuket have stopped.

JohnC | 08 March 2022 - 09:02:10

The solution is simple. Russian tourists stay home then there is no problem with not being able to pay bills. Promote Thai tourism to decent tourist markets and you won't have to worry about crap like this. Russia and China, the countries no one but Thailand wants to let in!


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