Thailand’s economy was forecast by the World Bank to grow by 5% in 2008 and gas demand was growing at around 3% per year. It is estimated that around 50% of its gas requirement may need to be imported by 2022 and the bulk of this is expected to come from the Thai-Malaysia Joint Development Area (MTJDA) and from Myanmar. Consequently, there is a drive within Thailand to maximize exploration within the country as well as to look at alternative energy sources. Thailand aims to reduce its proportion of energy consumption from oil from 41 to 31% within the next 15 years, substituting this with natural gas from the Gulf of Thailand while increasing the contribution of natural gas from 29 to 38% (S. Polachan pers. comm. 2007) (Fig. 13.1).
In the main petroleum producing province, the Gulf of Thailand, production of gas, oil and condensate is still increasing (Fig. 13.2). Thailand currently has 19 producing gas fields (18 offshore and one onshore) and 22 oil fields (19 onshore and three offshore). The main basin and field locations are shown in Figure 13.3. Proven, probable and possible reserves estimated by the Thai Government’s Division of Mineral Fuels (DMF 2007) are listed in Table 13.1.
For the purposes of this chapter, the petroleum geology of Thailand is divided into four main areas (Fig. 13.3) as follows:
Gulf of Thailand, Tertiary, non-marine to marine basins (oiland gas-prone);
Figures & Tables
The Geology of Thailand
This is the first volume in the English language to cover the entire range of the geology of Thailand since the joint Thai—US account by Brown et al. exactly 60 years ago. Over this period there has been a phenomenal growth in interest in this core area of SE Asia. This has been led by geologists in Thailand, but with important and highly significant input from geologists based elsewhere in Asia and in Europe, Australasia and North America. Some of that research was prompted by commercial considerations, since Thailand has important energy and mineral resources, while other research has sought to understand better the stratigraphic and structural history, including the plate-tectonic story which Thailand's rocks reveal. This new volume seeks to bring together all of this knowledge into a single accessible book; it is the work of an international team drawn from Thailand, Japan, Australia, USA, Canada, Germany and the UK.