Officials have never heard of a Texas-based company that claims to have been awarded
oil and gas research and exploration rights in Cambodia, said Te Duong Tara, director
general of the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority (CNPA) on Thursday.
The X-Change Corporation issued a press release to an online business news site April
6 (EST) stating that the Cambodian government has granted the US company rights to
offshore Cambodian Block B and onshore Cambodian Block A exploration sites.
"They are trying to make a cake with no flour," Tara said, discounting
the corporation's release. "We have made no such agreement."
Onshore Block A covers approximately 1,500 square kilometers in the northwest corner
of the Tonle Sap Basin, according to the statement.
Offshore Block B encompasses around 6,500 square kilometers, and according to the
release is located next to offshore Block A, an area which Chevron Overseas Petroleum
(Cambodia) Ltd. (COPCL) recently acquired rights to explore.
Representatives from Chevron have no knowledge of an agreement between the CNPA and
X-Change, or of the US company itself, said Pich Chetra, who oversees marketing and
public relations for COPCL.
X-Change Corporation also issued a release on April 5 claiming that the firm is opening
an office in Phnom Penh and will operate locally under the name Curado Energy Cambodia
A notice posted March 2 on the company's website said staff members had received
an invitation from the Cambodian government to consult with CNPA in Cambodia.
"No member from CNPA has ever met with this company, or with any other American
oil companies recently," Tara said. "Sometimes companies make up a story
to make money."
X-Change claims to own nearly 40 oil wells in Texas.