Thailand will propose a regular dialogue between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to ensure Southeast Asia maintains a link with the powerful group.

The proposal will be made at the ASEAN Energy Ministers’ meeting to be held on July 27-30 in Myanmar, Thai Energy Minister Wannarat Channukul said.

The proposed dialogue at both expert and ministerial levels, will help ensure accurate information and minimize speculation on energy trading, Wannarat said, adding that the initiative will provide a link between ASEAN and OPEC after Indonesia withdrew as Asia's only member of OPEC in January.

The ASEAN Energy Ministers’ meeting will discuss an ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation for 2010-2015. The plan will cover ASEAN power grids, trans-ASEAN gas pipeline, clean coal technology, renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation, regional energy policy and development programme as well as nuclear energy.

Representatives from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK) will also attend the meeting and discuss a draft on an oil stockpiling roadmap.

Last year, ASEAN ministers together with China, Japan and the RoK - a group known as ASEAN+3 - agreed to strengthen cooperation in energy security and oil stockpiling, which will be done on a "voluntary and non-binding" basis.

ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam./.