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The environment and the oil industry

The Thai industrial estate ruling
The January issue of Hydrocarbon Engineering included an article from Contributing Editor David Hayes, which discussed the Thai petrochemical industry and the upcoming final court ruling on proposed projects and expansions in the Map Ta Phut industrial estate.

The most recent court ruling has lead to 64 projects being halted at what is the eighth biggest petrochemicals hub in the world. The environmental concerns have come to light after the 2007 alteration in Thai legislation.

PTT, Thailand’s largest listed company has 25 projects in the area worth approximately US$ 3.9 billion. Seven of the projects are not affected by the legislation change, however, the shutdown of the gas separation plant at the site will have major effects on Thai imports as the country will be forced to bring 1.7 million tpy of LNG in to the country to compensate until the plant can reopen.

International companies with investments in the area are also suffering the from the hold up. Also, joint ventures between Thai companies and Yamato steel, Dow Chemical Company, Mitsui Chemical Inc., and Marubeni Corp are experiencing problems.

US Climate Action Partnership
Three major advocates of the USCAP coalition and the cap and trade legislation have pulled out. ConocoPhillips, BP and Caterpillar have withdrawn from the group as they feel its purpose has been served and they will be able to achieve environmental success independently.

ConocoPhillips and BP also have fears for domestic refineries under the new bill and the former wishes to pursue interests in natural gas. Whilst Caterpillar has stated interest in pursuing carbon capture and storage technology rather than cap and trade as a method to achieve environmental compliance.

USCAP, which now has 28 members, managed to get the cap and trade bill passed at the US House in 2009 and is now waiting for the Senate to pass approval.

Published on 22/02/2010


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