Chinese-owned Cambodian Resources Energy Development Co Ltd has been granted a three-year exploration licence in the Gulf of Thailand’s Block D, off the coast of Cambodia, a senior official at the General Department of Petroleum told The Post on Thursday.
General Department of Petroleum director-general Cheap Sour said the Ministry of Mines and Energy and Cambodian Resources Energy Development signed an agreement in December that gave the company the right to explore the area.
The company is scheduled to begin exploration of Block D this year.
“Right now, the company is studying all the paperwork. Next, they will begin exploring the oil field.
“If they see that the bloc has potential, they will begin preparations to extract oil. But we are in the beginning stages, so it will take a long time before any oil is extracted,” he said.
He noted that the ministry is prioritising attracting more investors to the mines and energy sector in the Kingdom.
Block D is a 5,500sq km zone in the Gulf of Thailand that was previously licensed to local firm CPHL (Cambodia) Co Ltd.
The government revoked that exploration licence in May 2016 after the company failed to meet the terms of the agreement.
According to Sour, Cambodia has divided regions for kerosene exploration into six offshore and 19 onshore blocks.
Sour said the ministry is currently negotiating an agreement with Canadian firm EnerCam Co to explore Block VIII.
“I expect that we will be reaching an agreement on oil exploration with the company soon,” he said.
Singapore-based KrisEnergy is currently developing the Apsara oilfield in Cambodia’s offshore Block A. The company aims to extract the first drop of oil later this year. The field is expected to reach a peak rate of 7,500 barrels of oil per day, according to KrisEnergy.