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Chevron resumption talks to resolve energy dispute with Thailand

Christian Fernsby |
Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong welcomed a decision by US energy company Chevron to continue negotiations rather than seek arbitration to resolve a dispute over who should pay for removing offshore oil and gas platforms.

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Thailand wants Chevron to pay the full decommissioning costs, estimated by a local newspaper at around $2.5 billion, for infrastructure at the Erawan gas field, which it is due to hand over to PTT Exploration and Production Plc in April 2022 when its concessions expire.

Reuters first reported last week that the US company had "temporarily suspended" a plan to seek arbitration in order to allow more time for talks with the Energy Ministry, but that arbitration was still a possibility "within weeks" if talks do not succeed.

Mr Sontirat said on Sunday the Chevron's decision was a good sign that the two parties could work together to resolve the dispute and ensure a smooth handover of the gas field.

"Chevron's decision to hold off the arbitration process to continue negotiations is welcomed," Mr Sontirat said.

"I also believe that we will arrive at the best agreements while prioritising Thailand's interests," he added.

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