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Deputy PM pushes Thailand on gulf

Deputy PM pushes Thailand on gulf

Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An has reiterated the country's willingness to discuss an overlapping claims dispute with Thailand on a potentially oil-rich area in the Gulf of Thailand.

After meeting with a Thai delegation on Friday, Sok An told reporters at the Council of Ministers that the Cambodia was committed to speeding up talks on joint exploration of the field.

“We are discussing today with our Thai counterparts [and] informing them that what we have been negotiating for more than 10 years for a formula which is acceptable to both for oil and gas in the overlapping site,” he said, after meeting with Thai senator and PTT representative Suradet Jiratiticharoen.

“At the moment, we are trying to make a presentation on our stance that we want to find a fair and quick resolution.”

Sok An is chairman of the Cambodia National Petroleum Authority.

Progress on addressing the issue seemed to be in motion in September last year. Although talks had been informal, Cambodian and Thai energy officials said continued discussion on a memorandum of understanding signed in 2001 was “highly likely”, the Post reported at the time.

Former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s government subsequently cancelled the MoU in November 2009, after Cambodia appointed fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra as an economic adviser to the Kingdom.

Oil production in Cambodia will not begin until 2016, the Post reported earlier this month.

Chevron originally targeted the end of this year as a starting date.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Kunmakara at [email protected]

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