Cambodia becomes oil-producing nation

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Block A in Cambodia’s area of the Gulf of Thailand is said to contain seven potential oil fields

The government of Cambodia on August 23 signed an agreement with Singapore-listed KrisEnergy Ltd to develop Cambodia’s first oil field which is expected to produce the country’s first-ever own oil within 24 months after the project launch.

The field is in Cambodia Block A in the Gulf of Thailand, where KrisEnergy plans to develop the Apsara area in the northeastern part of the concession. It is the first of seven potential fields to be developed.

Before that, Cambodia had zero oil or gas production. In late 1969, the Cambodian government granted a permit to a French company to explore possible petroleum fields in its terretorial waters in the Gulf of Thailand. By 1972, none had been located, and the search for oil ceased when the Khmer Republic fell in 1975 and the Khmer Rouge took over.

Subsequent oil and gas discoveries in the Gulf of Thailand and in the South China Sea, however, sparked renewed interest in Cambodia’s offshore areas, especially since they are on the same continental shelf as its Southeast Asian oil-producing neighbours Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The oil accumulations in Block A are, however, small and spread over a large area, which requires time and significant funds to be fully developed, KrisEnergy said. The company therefore has adopted a prudent phased approach to the development and noted that “there is some uncertainty regarding long-term production rates, reserves and commercial viability.”

The company is also in search of partners to invest in the project, while Cambodia’s government is hopeful to get some $500 million in fees, taxes and royalties over the project’s lifespan.

According to Cambodian Finance Minister Aun Pornmoniroth, the first explored area is estimated to yield more than 30 million barrels over nine years. Pornmoniroth also vowed that he would not allow Cambodia to become an overly oil-reliant economy and that the oil revenues would be invested into “structural reforms to boost growth” in Cambodia.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Block A in Cambodia’s area of the Gulf of Thailand is said to contain seven potential oil fields

The government of Cambodia on August 23 signed an agreement with Singapore-listed KrisEnergy Ltd to develop Cambodia’s first oil field which is expected to produce the country’s first-ever own oil within 24 months after the project launch.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Block A in Cambodia’s area of the Gulf of Thailand is said to contain seven potential oil fields

The government of Cambodia on August 23 signed an agreement with Singapore-listed KrisEnergy Ltd to develop Cambodia’s first oil field which is expected to produce the country’s first-ever own oil within 24 months after the project launch.

The field is in Cambodia Block A in the Gulf of Thailand, where KrisEnergy plans to develop the Apsara area in the northeastern part of the concession. It is the first of seven potential fields to be developed.

Before that, Cambodia had zero oil or gas production. In late 1969, the Cambodian government granted a permit to a French company to explore possible petroleum fields in its terretorial waters in the Gulf of Thailand. By 1972, none had been located, and the search for oil ceased when the Khmer Republic fell in 1975 and the Khmer Rouge took over.

Subsequent oil and gas discoveries in the Gulf of Thailand and in the South China Sea, however, sparked renewed interest in Cambodia’s offshore areas, especially since they are on the same continental shelf as its Southeast Asian oil-producing neighbours Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The oil accumulations in Block A are, however, small and spread over a large area, which requires time and significant funds to be fully developed, KrisEnergy said. The company therefore has adopted a prudent phased approach to the development and noted that “there is some uncertainty regarding long-term production rates, reserves and commercial viability.”

The company is also in search of partners to invest in the project, while Cambodia’s government is hopeful to get some $500 million in fees, taxes and royalties over the project’s lifespan.

According to Cambodian Finance Minister Aun Pornmoniroth, the first explored area is estimated to yield more than 30 million barrels over nine years. Pornmoniroth also vowed that he would not allow Cambodia to become an overly oil-reliant economy and that the oil revenues would be invested into “structural reforms to boost growth” in Cambodia.

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