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Historic day for the nation as Apsara oil is now flowing

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
History was made yesterday with the first extraction of oil in the Kingdom. Here the rig is seen while under construction. Ministry of Mines and Energy

Oil has begun flowing in the Apsara oil field’s offshore Cambodia Block A concession, a historic first for the nation.  Extraction started on December 28, 2020, according to a statement by KrisEnergy Ltd.

Production in the Apsara field began at a single development well and the flow rate will take at least 24 hours to stabilise. It will increase towards it plateau as four additional wells are progressively completed and commissioned.

The Apsara field lies over the Khmer Basin, an unproduced geological basin in Cambodian maritime waters in the Gulf of Thailand. Due to the unproven production performance of the basin, development of the Apsara area will take place over several phases to mitigate risks and provide time for the collection and analysis of critical data to be applied in future phases.

KrisEnergy is the operator of Block A and holds a 95 percent working interest with the Royal Government of Cambodia through the General Department of State Property and Non Tax Revenue of the Ministry of Economy and Finance holding the remaining 5 percent.

Kelvin Tang, Chief Executive Officer and President of KrisEnergy’s Cambodian operations, said that Apsara’s “first oil” marks a 10-year journey from when the company became a partner in Block A.

He said: “It has been three years since we signed the petroleum agreement to launch this project and there has been a steep learning curve for all involved in what is a momentous event for the Cambodian people and an important strategic and operational milestone for KrisEnergy.”

“In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, progressing Apsara to “first oil” has been a tremendous achievement and a testament to the determination of the KrisEnergy team and the strong cooperation of our contractors and suppliers,” Tang added.

He added that the cross-border logistics of mobilising personnel and equipment to execute this development safely during this time of COVID-19 would not have been possible without the expeditious and engaged support of the Royal Government of Cambodia.

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday said: “On behalf of the Royal Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia, I am very pleased to inform all our compatriots about the start of Cambodia’s first oil production in Block A, Gulf of Cambodia, which is the long-awaited oil production for Cambodia.”

He said that due to the efforts of the Royal Government and the active participation of KrisEnergy, the operator of this project, we have so far achieved the successful completion of the construction, installation of the necessary equipment and facilities for the production of our oil and gas resources.”

The Prime Minister added: “COVID-19 bothered us, but [it] could not destroy our efforts to produce the oil. The year 2021 is coming and although we are not as happy as in previous years because of [the pandemic], we have received a big gift for our nation, the first oil produced in our land. The New Year [brings] new achievements for the Cambodian economy from the beginning of 2021 onwards.”

He said this is the first important step for Cambodia in building national capacity and a key start in the development of an oil, gas and energy industry in Cambodia.

Mr Hun Sen considers Cambodia’s first drop of oil as a blessing to the Cambodian nation. The revenue raised from this oil production will be used for two priority areas: education and health.

Solinn Lim, Country Director at Oxfam Cambodia said the news is very welcome as is the royal government’s commitment towards ensuring that such revenues be invested towards universal healthcare and education for all.





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