The government is now studying a partnership with a Malaysian oil firm to explore the Block C offshore oilfield, according to a senior official from the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
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Speaking to a crowd of more than 900 people at the Police Academy of Cambodia yesterday, Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem said that Cambodia will have its first drop of oil by the end of 2019 after KrisEnergy agreed earlier in the year to proceed with the development of the Apsara oilfield.
“We are sure that we will produce our own oil by the end of 2019.
“Now we are negotiating an agreement with a Malaysian oil firm to study and explore Block C, and we hope to sign the agreement by the end of the year or beginning of the next,” Mr Sem said, failing to give a name for the Malaysian company.
Mr Sem said Cambodia has six offshore oil fields – namely Block 1A, 1B, C, D, E and F – and 19 oilfields on land.
He said onshore oilfield number 15, located in Kampong Thom province, is already being explored by Petro Vietnam, but said the other 18 onshore blocks are still available and urged investors to consider putting money into exploring them.
He added that Cambodia also have oil resources in four maritime zones that overlap with Thailand’s territory, and that the government is currently negotiating with Thai counterparts to determine which nation has rights over them.
Cheap Sour, Cambodia’s director general for petroleum, told Khmer Times yesterday that the agreement with the Malaysian oil firm over Block C is nearly completed.
“We don’t know how much oil we can extract from Block C,” Mr Sour said. “However, we are working hard on this issue and hope to sign the partnership by the end of this year.”
Mr Sem said Cambodia is fully dependent on imports from countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore for its oil and gas needs.