Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thais want to talk energy

Thais want to talk energy

Thais want to talk energy

Thailand wants to restart talks with Cambodia over the maritime Overlapping Claims Area contested for decades by both countries, according to a report in Thai media.

Negotiations over the 27,000 square kilometres of seabed in the Gulf of Thailand, believed to be rich in oil and gas, have ebbed and flowed in recent years, depending on the Thai government of the day.

A view of a drilling platform off the coast of Thailand
A view of a drilling platform off the coast of Thailand. The Thai and Cambodian governments have begun talks in regards to the maritime Overlapping Claims Area. BLOOMBERG

Newly appointed Thai Foreign Minister Tanasak Patimapragorn visited Cambodia on Monday and was joined by Thai Energy Ministry officials who reportedly held talks with Cambodian officials about the OCA, The Nation reported yesterday.

“This visit is regarded as opening a new era for restarting the talks about the overlapping claims area, which have been delayed for a long time,” said Kurujut Nakornthap, director-general of the Mineral Fuels Department at the Thai Energy Ministry.

He added that he was hopeful Thailand – which is running low on petroleum reserves – would soon appoint a committee to resume negotiations.

Meng Sachtheara, secretary of state at Cambodia's Ministry of Mines and Energy, said that while the ministry had yet to receive official contact from Thailand, it would welcome new talks.

“We didn’t meet them when they were in town. But we welcome them as we already have our working group and technical experts ready to talk about the deal,” he said.

“What is important for us to talk about is how to develop the area and what economic benefits we are going to share. We are not sure whether an agreement will be reached quickly.”

Resource extraction from the OCA is widely expected to provide a huge windfall to both governments.

A memorandum of understanding to jointly explore the area was signed in 2001 but was shelved by a conservative Thai government in 2009 when deposed former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was named as an economic adviser to Cambodia. Developments appeared to take a positive turn when Thaksin’s sister, Yingluck, won office in 2011.

Since she was ousted in May and the Thai military launched a coup, Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thai military leaders have sought to embrace each other.

MOST VIEWED

  • Accused not treated equally, says CCHR

    The Cambodia Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) has urged the Court of Appeal to do more to ensure that an accused’s right to a fair trial is fully respected. In a bulletin released on Monday, the CCHR said it had monitored 273 cases at the

  • Investors’ $14.4M projects approved

    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Rubber exports stretch 17%

    Cambodia exported 97,175 tonnes of natural rubber in the first five months of this year, surging 17 per cent compared to the same period last year as the Covid-19 pandemic stretches on, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official Khuong Phalla told The Post on Thursday. Phalla,

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cash handout programme 80% complete

    Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Vong Soth confirmed on Thursday that the implementation of the Cash Transfer Programme For Poor and Vulnerable Households During Covid-19 had been implemented for more than 80% of the over 560,000 families. The programme was introduced one week ago.

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Where is Cambodia’s exit strategy that can save the economy?

    With the prospect of being slammed by a double whammy, the government is working on an economic recovery plan to deliver it from Covid-19 and the EU’s partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms scheme in the next two to three years Cambodia is

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to