A Japanese company has struck Cambodia's first oil and gas, raising its optimism
that it will be able to sink a commercially-viable off-shore well.
said the oil found at its test well Apsara 1, 155 km southwest of Sihanoukville,
was good quality crude but was contaminated by wax impurities.
both the oil and gas are now undergoing further tests in Singapore and Malaysia.
Campex administrator Ryoichi Nakamoto estimated oil could be extracted
from Apsara 1 at 500 barrels per day but at least 2,000 bdp were needed to
warrant commercial extraction.
However he added: "This has made us very
hopeful that we will be able to get into production. Our company believes we
have the best site in Cambodia."
The strike was made on the third test
bore at Apsara 1, which is 3310 metres deep. Nakamoto declined to say at what
depth the oil was found.
Campex signed a five-year exploration deal with
the government in Dec 1991, which is due to expire at the end of next year.
The company has the rights to the 36,600 square km "Block 3", one of
five adjoining areas in the Gulf of Thailand designated for
Drilling on a second well, called Devada 1 and 15 km east of
Apsara 1, began on Feb 6 and is expected to continue for 80 days.
Apsara 1, it will be conducted by the drilling ship Ocean Clipper which is being
leased from the Singaporean-based Diamond Offshore company. Each well costs $8
million to sink.
Nakamoto said the company would wait for the results
from Devada 1 before deciding whether to sink another well in the Devada field,
return to the Apsara, or search in a third area within its block.
is a consortium of four Japanese companies. The state-owned Japan National Oil
Corporation has an 80 percent stake, the Japan Petroleum Exploration Co has 10
per cent and the trading firm Nissho Iwai and the refinery company Taiyo Oil
have five percent each. The consortium has a total capital of $13.6
The company will divide any commercial oil find up with the
Royal Government. Mr Nakamoto declined to say what each side's share would be
under their deal.
A source at the Ministry of Industry, which oversees
oil exploration, said the government will be taking approximately 70 per cent of
all revenues accrued from a commercially-viable well.
companies Enterprise Oil and Premier own the rights to two and one blocks
respectively, to the north and south of the Japanese block.
has begun drilling its first well and Premier is expected to start in
The rights to the fifth and northern-most block are currently open
after the Hungarian company Nawa pulled out. It failed to raise the capital for
a test well.