Reports that oil had been discovered under the Tonle Sap lake were among a catalogue
of concerns for Australian academic Milton Osborne when compiling his report on the
future of the Mekong River for the Lowy Institute (see story page 3).
But confirmation of the reports remained elusive.
"Short of an official announcement, and given the tireless and unreliable character
of Phnom Penh's rumor mill, it is not possible to assess what such a discovery would
mean in terms of possible future environmental damage," he wrote.