Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Contract in Jeopardy

Contract in Jeopardy

Contract in Jeopardy

The Cambodian government has threatened to cancel oil and gas exploration rights

held by Dutch consortium Maritime because it failed to meet a contractual deadline

to begin operations, high-level officials said.

Under the agreement it struck with the State of Cambodia administration in December

last year, Marimex was obliged to begin work within one month of the contract signing

but 10 months later it has yet to give any indication when it will do so.

"We have sent a letter to Maritime and told them that if they do not honor the

terms of the agreement we will revoke the contract," said Vice Minister for

Energy and Mines Ith Praing.

Maritime, which groups two little-known trading Dutch companies backed by the Romanian

government, was awarded a contract to explore one on-shore and two off-shore zones.

The com-pany's choice of an on-shore block in Khmer Rouge territory in the northwest

of the country and its specification as a trade and transport company in its contract

surprised many industry observers.

Minister for Energy and Mines Ing Khiet said if the contracts are canceled exploration

zones would be put up for bidding once again.

The minister said none of the other three existing oil exploration contracts which

are held by British and Japanese companies would be reviewed.

If the Maritime contract is rescinded, it will become the second foreign oil company

to forfeit exploration rights. The Hungarian state-owned company Nawa Oil had its

contract canceled late last year last year after it also failed to meet contractual

deadlines.

The other three companies, which all hold rights to offshore zones, are quickly pushing

ahead with their operations. Campex, a Japanese company is expected to sink its first

test well in December. British company Enterprise Oil is expected to follow soon

after.

Oil executives of the two companies say they are guardedly optimistic about Cambodia's

oil and gas potential.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Support of CNRP return online will lead to arrest’

    Anyone posting messages supporting the return of Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), on social media will be arrested, the Ministry of Interior announced on Tuesday. Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak told The Post on Monday that authorities

  • CNRP activists arrested for ‘plotting insecurity’

    Three activists for the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have been sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court after they were arrested for their alleged involvement in an overseas-organised plot to mobilise demonstrations and cause insecurity. National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun said the

  • Police conduct raid on Orchid massage parlour

    Thirty-seven people, including three minors, were detained after Phnom Penh Municipal Police and the Department of Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection raided the Orchid massage parlour in Sen Sok district’s Phnom Penh Thmey commune on Monday. The 27-room massage parlour is believed to have

  • Rainsy charged with ‘insulting the King’

    Ministries and state institutions have condemned Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), for allegedly insulting His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni. The condemnation came in the wake of Rainsy’s claim on Thursday during an interview with Radio