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Joint venture will take part in oil explorations

Malaysia-based Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad has tied up with Rex International Holding Pte Ltd to participate in exploration opportunities in Cambodia and 10 other countries across the Asia-Pacific region, according to a statement released last Thursday.

Hibiscus’s wholly owned subsidiary Orient Hibiscus Sdn Bhd and Rex International Holding subsidiary Rex South East Asia Ltd have formed the 50-50 joint venture HiRex Petroleum Sdn Bhd, which will have the right of first refusal to participate in exploration opportunities across Southeast Asia as well as Australia and New Zealand.

HiRex will have the first right to participate in projects identified via the use of Rex Technology, a software-based tool that detects the presence or absence of oil based on seismic data without drilling.

“We can now use the technology in the Asia-Pacific, a region in which we are most knowledgeable and comfortable with,” Dr Kenneth Pereira, managing director of Hibiscus, said in the statement.

The statement said HiRex has the right to use the technology for five years with provisions for extension and “hopes to leverage on the technology to identify, select and invest in valuable concessions” in the 11 countries.

A spokesman for the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The Edge Malaysia reported in January that Petronas, Malaysia’s national oil and gas firm, was again eyeing the Cambodian oil and gas sector almost three years after withdrawing from the Kingdom.

According to Mam Sambath, executive director of the NGO Development and Partnership in Action, more investors are likely to come into Cambodia in the near future and the government needs to ensure the appropriate legal framework is in place. 

“The government has to prepare [itself] in terms of … how to have the relationship with those companies in terms of the rules, regulation and also the laws in terms of regulating this sector,” he said.

It has to insure the sector “is regulated in transparent manners and accountable manners as well”, he added.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anne Renzenbrink at anne.renzenbrink@phnompenhpost.com

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