Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been talking with Lebanese authorities to pave the way for PTT Exploration and Production Plc to bid for a concession to explore oil blocks in the Middle Eastern country.
In a telephone interview with the Bangkok Post, Thaksin said he has been in Lebanon and expects to meet with Lebanese prime minister Nijib Mikati.
Thaksin: Thailand stands to benefit
Thaksin said the potential volume of the oil blocks is substantial.
He said Thailand would benefit from involvement in the exploration.
Thaksin said the Lebanese government would be in favour of deals with oil firms from Asia as it is not on good terms with the United States.
However, he did not expect that a single oil firm would be granted the concession, as it would likely be given to a consortium, and he hoped that PTTEP, a subsidiary of PTT Plc, would be part of such a consortium.
Meanwhile, a source from PTT said the company has not yet received an invitation to bid for a concession from the Lebanese authorities.
The source said PTT is unaware of Thaksin's move.
PTT thus far has not managed to build up a close relationship with the Lebanese government, but it intends to study and explore business opportunities there and elsewhere in the world, according to the source.
"We will go there, with or without the assistance of Thaksin," said the source.