Monday, July 5, 2010

Government Urges Companies to Pump Oil in 2012

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

H.E. Dr. Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Council of Ministers and also Chairman of the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority (CNPA), said that the Royal Government of Cambodia plans to pump oil in Sihanoukville’s offshore areas in 2012.

The Deputy Prime Minister continued to say that according to the Cambodian government’s plan, the Government will start pumping oil for the first time in December 2012 as it looks to tap the potential of its offshore reserves in Cambodia.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia will begin pumping oil in Preah Sihanouk province in December 2012. The first drop of oil production would start in two years,” he said at a meeting with CNPA on June 21st in Phnom Penh.

So far, there over 20 oil companies that has signed the agreements with Cambodian governments researching the drill for oil, minerals, gas and petroleum in Cambodia’s offshore areas. These foreign oil companies included: Total Company, Chevron Company, Mitsui Oil Exploration Company, and Petro-Vietnam Company, according to H.E. Dr. Sok An.

In early June 2010, the Total Company has paid a total of US$ 28 million for the Royal Government of Cambodia to secure rights to drill for Cambodia’s offshore oil, he said.

Recently, Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen warned the oil companies in April 2010 that he would terminate its contract if the offshore fields had not begun pumping by late 2012. He said that it is estimated that there are hundreds of millions of barrels of crude and three times as much natural gas in Cambodia.

These potential natural resources are very potential for Cambodia because it will create revenues for the Royal Government of Cambodia and it would also be used to benefit the people in Cambodia, he said, adding that it remains unclear how much can actually be recovered and it was highly premature to estimate how much oil the undersea reserves might hold in Cambodia.

According to a Council of Ministers’ report, the Kingdom of Cambodia has many natural resources including minerals, gems, oils and gases. And the country was feted as Southeast Asia’s next petro-state after oil was discovered there in 2005, but production stalled amid apparent wrangling between the government and U.S energy giant Chevron over revenue sharing. //

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