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Petroleum Act amendment: production-sharing contracts but no national oil company


The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has voted 227 to 1 to pass an amendment to the Petroleum Act – paving the way for production sharing-contracts for managing fuel resources.

The legislators suggested that the government set up a panel to study the establishment of a national oil company.
On Thursday, the NLA deliberated on two amended draft bills on petroleum in the second and third readings. 
One of the two bills involved amending Article 10/1 of the Petroleum Act to establish the national oil company. An NLA ad hoc committee decided to withdraw the proposal from the draft after facing criticism, although it proposed putting the establishment of the company in an observation clause in the draft. 
Legislators suggested the government set up a panel within 60 days to looking into the national oil company proposal and complete it within a year.
In the draft, the NLA allowed oil and gas products to be shared via contracts, replacing the current system that ties products to their concessionaries. 
The Act will take effect once it is announced in the Royal Gazette.
Before the dramatic withdrawal of the national oil company proposal, more than 10 NLA members had argued in favour of Article 10/1 and only one NLA member, who called for a separate legislation to set up the company, had spoken against the bill. 
On Thursday, a pressure group led by former senator Rossana Tositrakul gathered outside Parliament and sent a representative to demand that the amendment to the Petroleum Act be scrapped.

Published : March 31, 2017

By : The Nation