Total, the French-based international oil and gas company, officially inaugurated
its Phnom Penh office on July 9.
With worldwide assets in l992 of over U.S. $20 billion, Total is the eighth largest
privately-owned oil company in the world. Net income in l992 was over U.S. $500 million.
Registered in Cambodia since l992 as Total Cambodge, the firm seeks to establish
a distribution network throughout the country.
"We want to try and set up a distribution network for sales of jet, diesel and
fuel oil," said Andre Camp, Total Cambodge's director general.
The company is also looking at the possibility of establishing an oil lubricants
plant in Cambodia and a plant to bottle cooking gas.
The firm's first task is to find a way to store oil products both in Sihanoukville
and Phnom Penh. Total has a small-scale storage facility in Kbal Tnal in Phnom Penh
where several thousand tons of lubricants can be handled at any one time.
The company has begun sales and distribution of lubricants but, in the absence of
adequate storage facilities, not fuels.
Negotiations on project development with Cambodia's Com-pagnie Kampuchea des Carbur-ants
are currently underway.
Through a joint venture with Enterprise Oil, Total's oil and gas exploration division
has already undertaken seismic surveys on two offshore blocks in Cambodian waters
in the Gulf of Thailand.
No wells have been sunk to date although the consortium, which also includes Campaigne
Europeene des Petroles (CEP) of France and British Gas, is expected to begin test
drilling early next year.