Energy Inspector-General Somnuek Bamrungsalee flatly denied that Thailand is one of the destinations of oil "stolen from NIgeria". He said that there was only a small chance of Thai refineries buying the stolen oil, as under Thai law, retailers normally buy oil from trade partners under long-term contracts.
"There's no way that other traders could offer the stolen oil to long-time trade partners, to supply to Thai retailers, including PTT," he said. He believed that the stolen Nigerian oil might have been destined to countries where supervision was less stringent than in Thailand.
Regarding concerns that the stolen oil could be smuggled into Thailand, he said the Customs Department could check this, as it had the data of oil tankers entering Thai waters.
There was a report that Thailand is one of the countries where stolen Nigerian oil worth billions of US dollars is sold every year, with much of the proceeds being laundered in world financial centres such as Britain and the United States.
A study by London-based Chatham House found that Thailand and other Asian countries including China, India, Singapore and Indonesia were among the major international markets for stolen Nigerian oil, according to a report by the think-tank.
"Sources interviewed during the research for this report tentatively pointed to the United States, several West African countries, Brazil, China, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Balkans as possible destinations," said the report titled "Nigeria's Criminal Crude: International Options to Combat the Export of Stolen Oil".
An investigator claimed to have discovered a stolen oil cargo in Thailand, according to the report, which was released on Thursday.
"Nigerian crude oil is being stolen on an industrial scale," the report said.