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Thailand to auction petroleum concessions for Erawan, Bongkot fields in Dec - energy minister

BANGKOK, March 31 (Reuters) - Thailand will auction petroleum concessions for Erawan and Bongkot gas fields in December, the country's energy minister said on Friday.

"An official announcement is expected within July, and auctions in December," energy minister General Anantaporn Kanjanarat told reporters.

The Erawan gas concession, operated by Chevron Corp, and the Bongkot gas concession, operated by state-backed PTTEP Exploration and Production PCL, will expire in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

They have a combined production of 2.2 billion cubic feet per day, or 76 percent of output in the Gulf of Thailand.

The minister's comment comes after the country's military-appointed parliament approved an amendment to a petroleum law on Thursday which will give companies more options for exploration and production operations.

Currently, oil and gas companies must get a concession to operate in a Thai field.

The approved amendment will add the option of striking production sharing agreements (PSA) or service contracts. (Reporting by Pracha Hariraksapitak; Writing by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)