The government has given the nod to EnerCam Resources Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Toronto-listed Angkor Resources Corp, for oil and gas exploration, development and production on southwestern Cambodia’s roughly 7,300sq km onshore Block VIII in the Kampong-Som Basin, the parent company reported on October 3.

“Initial phases of exploration on Block VIII will include the acquisition of available seismic [data], which will then have comprehensive analysis completed. Preliminary magnetics on the targeted areas will also be part of the first phase work plan,” according to a press release issued by Angkor Resources, which is based in Sexsmith, a town in western Canada’s Alberta province.

“The permitting is for an initial three-year exploration term and two further renewal terms of two years each. Development and production terms are for 25 years with additional renewals.

“Exploration will be undertaken outside of park areas, part of EnerCam’s ESG [environmental, social and governance] mandate so the company assists in protecting Cardamon Mountains National Park and Preah Monivong and Kirirom National Parks,” it added.

EnerCam president Mike Weeks voiced optimism that the company’s operations in the licensed area would stimulate development of the Cambodian oil and gas industry.

“We are excited about moving oil and gas forward in Cambodia as we believe this is a monumental change for the entire country,” he said in the release.

“Having its own long-term source of energy for LNG [liquefied natural gas], for fuels and a whole variety of products currently imported into Cambodia will advance this country to a new level.

“It starts with exploration on Block VIII – we see gas shows, oil seeps, and other indications on the licence that point us in a potential direction for discovery,” Weeks added.

Ministry of Mines and Energy director-general for petroleum Cheap Sour could not be reached by The Post by press time. However, he underlined in a previous interview that, for the time being, attracting new investments to the mines and energy sector would be a top priority for his ministry.

He also explained that Cambodia has divided its territorial lands and waters into six offshore and 19 onshore blocks for oil and gas exploration.

Angkor Resources CEO Delayne Weeks added in the press release: “Until countries have accomplished sourcing sufficient renewable energy to meet global demand, cleaner and greener use of hydrocarbons plays a vital role in every country’s energy balance.

“Cambodia needs its own source of energy, and we look forward to actively exploring and producing energy for Cambodia, all the while establishing strong ESG principles in a new sector of the country.

“This is also a huge opportunity for human resource development with a significant new industry sector for Cambodia. Implementing best practices for energy creation with hydrocarbons brings positive development and a template for the entire country.

“We can use what we have learned elsewhere to minimise the carbon footprint and maximise the benefits to the economy and the population,” she added.