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Government to use 3D technology in offshore oil exploration

Government to use 3D technology in offshore oil exploration

Ministry of Environment officials on Tuesday agreed to the use of 3D Seismic Exploration to search for oil and gas in the seas off the Cambodian coast this year – a plan they say will have the least effect on the environment and biodiversity.

The decision to proceed with 3D Seismic Exploration was made on Tuesday at an inter-ministerial meeting on oil and gas exploration hosted by the ministry.

A further eight related points were also agreed at the meeting, including notifying fishermen to avoid collisions with the study ship and safeguards on local marine wildlife to avoid any ill-effects when conducting the work.

The ministry’s Department of Environmental Impact Assessment director Danh Serey told The Post that energy exploration firm KrisEnergy has been recruited to use 3D Seismic Exploration for the first time in Cambodia.

“3D Seismic Exploration is going to be used for the first time. In the past, the Chevron Corporation used 2D exploration but it did not show a clear picture."

“3D Seismic Exploration is the latest technology and it reduces the effect on biodiversity in the water and mammals. In short, it almost has no effect on wildlife,” he said, adding that the ministry continues to study the effects of energy exploration on the environment and geography.

In 2017, Singapore-based KrisEnergy received its licence from the government to explore for oil and gas throughout a 1,200sq km area off the coast of Cambodia known as ‘Bloc A’. The project is set to last 40 days.

While Bloc A is currently the only area in which companies are approved to search for oil and gas in Cambodia, the Ministry of Mines and Energy is currently negotiating and preparing an agreement with other companies to explore in Bloc B and Bloc C.

The Ministry of Mines and Energy’s General Department of Petroleum director-general Cheap Sour said 3D Seismic Exploration will help assess data collected from the sea bed in a clear manner.

He said that according to the plan, KrisEnergy will be able to locate oil for the first time later this year.

“The research ship will send sound waves into the seabed to receive data about whether any location has oil or not,” he said.

The Post could not reach representatives from KrisEnergy for additional comment.

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