The Department of Mineral Resources issued an invitation on July 19 2000 to submit applications for petroleum concessions. This will be the eighteenth round of bidding since the enactment of the Petroleum Act. However, unlike previous rounds, applications may be filed for a period of three years, and will be considered on the fifteenth day of each month. The last day for the first submission is August 15 2000. Applications for blocks that are subject to previous applications will not be accepted until consideration of the earlier application is finalized.

The invitation prescribes the same conditions applicable to recent rounds of bidding. Successful applicants must register a limited company, with paid-up capital of not less than Bt100 million.

Each application will be graded according to (i) the proposed petroleum exploration programme and the level of expenditure and physical work obligations (70%), and (ii) any special advantages that may be offered (eg, scholarships, training, or contributions to support petroleum development in Thailand (30%)).

Applications may be filed for 87 exploration blocks located onshore, in the Gulf of Thailand and in the Andaman Sea. Detailed descriptions of the exploration blocks, and the geological factors and special reductions of each block, are set out in the announcement of the Ministry of Industry, issued on July 11 2000.

For further information on this topic please contact Albert Chandler at Chandler and Thong-ek by telephone (+662 266 6485) or by fax (+662 266 6483) or by e-mail ([email protected]).

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