Singapore-based oil and gas company KrisEnergy is scheduled to sign an agreement with the Cambodian government next Wednesday for the extraction of petroleum from Block A to develop the Aspara oil field.
Jeffrey S MacDonald, KrisEnergy’s interim CEO, said in the second quarterly report that the company already received confirmation from the Cambodian government on the exact agreement-signing date, so that it could start the groundwork for Block A.
“We are delighted that the Royal Government of Cambodia has approved the schedule for the signing [of the agreement] on August 23. This is a major step forward in the development of the Apsara oil field and establishing Cambodia as an oil-producing nation,” said Mr MacDonald.
“We remain focused on our revised business plan and continued alignment on the Gulf of Thailand as our core area, and through the successful execution of our proposed asset farm-out and divestment transactions, we believe we will be on firmer ground to achieve our development goals going forward,” he added.
Cambodia Block A covers an area of 4,709 square kilometres in the Gulf of Thailand over the Khmer Basin, approximately 150 kilometres from Cambodia’s mainland where water depths range between 50 and 80 metres.
The Cambodian Ministry of Mines and Energy – the successor agency to the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority – intends to exercise its right to acquire a 5 percent working interest in Cambodia, which when completed will reduce KrisEnergy’s combined holdings to 95 percent.
KrisEnergy, its partners and the various government authorities have agreed on the development concept for the first phase of the Apsara oil field.
Ministry of Mines and Energy secretary of state Meng Saktheara said recently that both sides had spent a long time making their revisions before the agreement.
“We plan to sign the petroleum agreement with them very soon within this month because we already compromised on all terms and changes stipulated in the revised agreement,” said Mr. Saktheara.
He explained that the reason the revisions were time consuming was because there were a lot of issues in the new document.
An agreement to transfer 28.5 percent and 14.25 percent working interest in Cambodia Block A from Mitsui Oil Exploration Co. Ltd and GS Energy Corporation, respectively to KrisEnergy, was signed on August 31, 2016 and completed on October 7, 2016.
Kelvin Tang, the president of KrisEnergy Cambodia, told Khmer Times in April that since becoming an operator in late 2014, the company has worked with the government to finalise all the terms of the revised production sharing contract.
He said that many government departments, including the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Ministry of Economy and Finance, were involved because the agreements cover fiscal issues, government participation and operational terms.
“As this is Cambodia’s first oil development, many external parties have been advising the government and we, as a responsible operator, have taken time to make sure that all stakeholders are on a level playing field to avoid any misunderstandings. We appreciate that the Apsara oil development will be keenly watched,” Mr Tang said.