As the global price of oil craters amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Singapore-based KrisEnergy Ltd remains on track to extract the first drop of oil in the first half of this year, said a Ministry of Mines and Energy senior official.
KrisEnergy is currently developing the Apsara oilfield in Cambodia’s offshore Block A, which it expects to reach a peak rate of 7,500 barrels of oil per day.
Speaking at a press conference titled Progress and Implementation plan of Ministry of Mines and Energy on Tuesday, the ministry’s General Department of Petroleum director-general Cheap Sour said the ministry has not yet offered guidelines to the company about the outbreak’s potential impact on its operation.
“We will have a discussion with the company about studying how the oil field development project in Block A will be impacted by the outbreak.
“The recent drop in oil price will probably lead to a loss of confidence for financiers investing their money in the oil sector,” said Sour.
He said the ministry has been working hard to attract investors to Cambodia’s oil sector. “We will strive to attract investors who want to explore for oil and continue to push for oil production by 2020.”
US crude benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) briefly plummeted nearly 20 per cent to below $14.50 on Monday – its lowest since 1999 – as stockpiles continue to accumulate as a result of demand drying up amid the outbreak, reported AFP.
Sour said Cambodia has divided domestic kerosene exploration into six offshore and 19 onshore blocks.
In December, the ministry granted Chinese-owned Cambodian Resources Energy Development Co Ltd a three-year exploration licence in the Gulf of Thailand’s Block D, off the coast of Cambodia.
The company is scheduled to begin exploration of Block D, which covers 5,500sq km, this year.