Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Cambodian National Petroleum Association Sok An has called for the resumption of talks with Thailand over the disputed overlapping claims area in the Gulf of Thailand, believed to be rich in oil and natural-gas reserves.
The oil industry had the potential to be a lucrative resource for Cambodia’s developing economy, he told re-porters at Phnom Penh Inter-national Airport on Friday.
“We shouldn’t keep our black gold in the bay, we need to extract it,” Sok An said after returning from the Internat-ional Conference on Asian Political Parties.
“We are looking forward to having productive and open public discussions with the new Thai administration led by Prime Minister Yingluck.”
A 2001 memorandum of understanding on joint management of the 27,000 square kilometre area was put on hold by the Thai government in November 2009 following the appointment of ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as an economic adviser to Cambodia.
Thai Energy Minister Pichai Naripthaphan has said he is still waiting for the Foreign Ministry to finalise the framework for discussions, according to a report in the Bangkok Post last week.