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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government offshore oil block deadline passes

Government offshore oil block deadline passes

LAST week marked the arri-val and passing of 12/12/12, the Cambodian government’s original date for the comm-encement of oil extraction from the Block A oilfields in the Gulf of Thailand, with no activity on the site.

Chevron currently holds a 30 per cent interest in the block, according to a fact sheet on its website, which also says government approval and a final investment decision are expected to be finalised by the end of 2012.

Asked about the progress of exploration efforts at the site, and if a new date had been decided, Chevron media adviser Alexander Yellend said: “We continue to work with the Royal Government of Cambodia to obtain project approvals to achieve a final investment decision at the earliest possible date.”

According to Men Den, deputy director-general of the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority, Block A is still in the development phase and a lot needs to be done before moving to the production stage.

The legal framework, financial regulations, technical details and an economic analysis needed to be finalised before a final investment decision (FID) was made, he said.

“This [a final investment decision] point is waiting on everything else to be finished. When the FID is finished, we can give a real date for the first oil drop offshore.”

At the same time, the government is still in negotiations with Thailand on the Overlapping Claims Area (OCA) in the Pattani Trough in the Gulf of Thailand.

Martin McCarthy, the managing director of Total Cambodge, which holds a condit-ional licence for Area III of the OCA, said the company was waiting on the two governments to decide how they wanted to treat the situation.

“We understand progress is being made on both sides, but unfortunately we don’t know, and we cannot give any estimation of, what time such an agreement might come to pass,” McCarthy said.

“The suggestion has been made to set up a joint development area, then exploit the resources in a sharing manner, but we still need to see what will happen next.”

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