Phnom Penh (FN), June 6 – Cambodia has 25 oil blocks, six off-shores, minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem spoke in a workshop on understanding the draft law on the management and production of petroleum, held at the National Assembly on Thursday.

According to the minister, the French oil experts began oil explorations in the 1970s; they have dug three holes, yet halted the process due to wars. Not until 1987, another investigation began under the assistance of the former Soviet Union, leading to the oil block allocations.

On 23 August 2018, the Royal Government of Cambodia and KrisEnergy Corporation jointly signed agreement for offshore oil development in Block A of the Cambodian maritime zone, located in the Gulf of Thailand, with an area of 3,083 square km.

Under the agreement, RGC owns 5 percent of the shares, while KrisEnergy holds 95 percent. KrisEnergy expected to produce 30 million barrels of crude oil in the first phase in the period of nine years.

“The Apsara oil field will be the first oil well in Cambodia. RGC will benefit from tax and 5 percent share of the revenue,” said Kelvin Tang, CEO of KrisEnergy.

“The revenues from the petroleum sector will contribute to socio-economic development, focusing on four major areas, including roads, water, electricity, and people,” Aun Pornmoniroth, minister of Economy and Finance, stated.

“Cambodia will not depend solely on petroleum and gas as the economic source, but will reform on economic structure to ensure the sustainable growth in the medium and long term,” the minister added.

Cheap Sour, the director-general of the General Department of Petroleum at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, stated today that while the first drop of oil will begin this year, the petroleum refinery is also emerging under the Cambodia-China investment.

Cambodian Petrochemical Co.,Ltd, has an investement capital of USD 600 million, began its field construction since May 2017 that is capable of refining 5 million tons per annum, Cheap Sour added.