Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Canada firm mulls offshore oil extraction in Kingdom’s Block A

Canada firm mulls offshore oil extraction in Kingdom’s Block A

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodia’s maiden oil wellhead platform sails away to its offshore location on August 25, 2020. SUPPLIED

Canada firm mulls offshore oil extraction in Kingdom’s Block A

Canadian-owned company EnerCam Resources Co Ltd (EnerCam) is studying the possibility of investing in oil extraction from Cambodia’s offshore Block A after the government terminated an agreement with Singapore-based KrisEnergy Ltd, after the oil and gas exploration company went bankrupt last year.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of an oil and gas conference on July 27, Ministry of Mines and Energy director-general for petroleum Cheap Sour confirmed that the ministry was in talks with EnerCam for the potential investment.

In an effort to avoid similar speed bumps as KrisEnergy had, EnerCam “will need time”, he said, adding that the company is carefully studying and analysing pertinent data before making a decision.

“These studies are close to the stage where results can be discussed, so at a later date, we’ll announce whether the Block A project will resume, with the aforementioned company,” he added.

He shared that since oil prices began spiralling, companies from countries such as Canada, China, Thailand and Australia have contacted the government to look into the Kingdom’s potential for oil exploration, both onshore and offshore.

In Cambodia, six offshore blocks and 19 onshore blocks have been delineated for possible oil exploration.

In 2019, EnerCam received approval from the government for a 7,300sq km onshore oil and gas exploration concession.

Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem, who presided over the July 27 event, stressed that the government has taken “great care” in supporting and encouraging investors, by developing laws, policies and regulations in the oil and energy sector to minimise investment risks.

“The government has also encouraged both local and international investors to increase downstream investment, such as refining, importation, storage, transportation and distribution of petroleum and petroleum products to ensure supply of oil and gas to consumers and development of other sectors,” he said.

Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said that with Cambodia’s considerable offshore oil potential and need for private sector investment to boost economic growth, inspiring investors and drawing them into the Kingdom’s oil market is crucial.

“The Canadian company’s interest in investing in Block A has once again raised prospects for Cambodia’s oil exploration sector.

“If the company’s studies show positive results, and the estimated recoverable volume of oil is comparable to the former company’s [KrisEnergy’s] evaluations, then the government would undoubtedly have the ability to step up investment into the public sector and increase subsidies for retail fuel,” Vanak said.

A study by the Jakarta-based Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) found that demand for petroleum products would increase from its 2020 level of 2.8 million tonnes, crude oil equivalent (roughly 20.8 million barrels), to 4.8 million and 8.3 million by 2030 and 2040, respectively, requiring additional investment in the sector to keep pace.

Some of the oil companies that have conducted geological surveys in the Kingdom include: Elf, Esso, Enterprise Oil, PTT, Premier Oil, Chevron, PVEP, JOGMEC and MOECO.


  • Tensions high ahead of historic Kun Khmer match up

    The long-awaited November 5 matchup between Kun Khmer legend Prum Samnang and Myanmar-Canadian boxer Dave Leduc has become the most anticipated fight of the year. The Wurkz Sena Kun Khmer promotion, which will be held at the Town Arena at Chip Mong 271 Megamall, will see six

  • Manet: Cambodia safe for travel

    Prime Minister Hun Manet acknowledged that Cambodia and China have cooperated to tackle internet scamming, fraud and other cross border crimes, but insisted that the “Kingdom of Wonders” is completely peaceful and safe. He welcomed tourists to come and explore its rich heritage. During a

  • UNESCO formally list Battambang gastronomy

    Battambang, renowned for its cultural heritage, has achieved a significant milestone as the first Cambodian municipality to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). The UCCN unites nearly 300 cities prioritising creativity and cultural industries in local development plans and international cooperation. On World Cities Day,

  • Cambodia pivots to solar, wind energy

    Cambodia is planning a move towards solar and wind energy to meet its rising power demands, according to Minister of Mines and Energy Keo Rottanak. On the sidelines of the Singapore International Energy Week event held recently, Rottanak emphasised the urgency of diversifying Cambodia’s

  • Angkor causeway symbol of Cambodia-Japan ties

    In a historic moment marking another milestone in the 70-year-long diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Japan, King Norodom Sihamoni celebrated the formal inauguration of a causeway located to the west of the world-renowned Angkor Wat. While presiding over the November 4 ceremony, the King emphasised the

  • Manet calls for Cambodia’s railways to get back on track

    Prime Minister Hun Manet has instructed the relevant authorities to expedite studies into upgrades to the Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk railway line. He suggested that the maximum speed on the line should be increased to 80km/h, in order to expedite the transportation of