Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia keen to resume gas field talks

Cambodia keen to resume gas field talks

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Erawan gas field in the Gulf of Thailand. BANGKOK POST

Cambodia keen to resume gas field talks

Cambodia is ready to meet with Thailand on the issue of the 26,000sq km Overlapping Claims Area (OCA) – estimated to hold up to 500 million barrels of oil and gas deposits under the seafloor – in a bid to jointly develop the area and capitalise on its resources to the benefit of both countries and potentially avert an energy crisis down the line.

Khomgrich Tantravanich, secretary-general of Thailand’s Energy Regulatory Commission, suggested policymakers of both countries be vocal and establish clear direction for joint development in the long-disputed OCA in the Gulf of Thailand, the Bangkok Post reported on August 22.

The OCA overlaps the Cambodian and Thai borders in the gulf, and has been a point of contention between the two neighbouring nations, which have claimed the area since the early 1970s.

A memorandum of understanding to jointly explore the OCA was signed in 2001 but was later shelved by the Thai government in 2009. Calls to rekindle negotiations on oil and gas development in the region have re-emerged time and again with varying degrees of success.

However with spiralling global demand and prices for oil and gas, buoyed by economic reopening and the Ukraine crises, negotiations may take a different turn this time.

Khomgrich recommended Thailand secure more gas supplies for electricity generation, after a drop in volumes from the gulf resulted in additional “costly” liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports. “We are confident that the OCA will help Thailand secure gas supplies and keep energy prices low in the long run,” he was quoted as saying.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ministry of Mines and Energy secretary of state Meng Saktheara. Heng Chivoan

Speaking at a press conference early this month, Ministry of Mines and Energy secretary of state Meng Saktheara explained that the political and economic considerations due to the involvement of oil and other natural resources make OCA negotiations “very complicated”.

He acknowledged that although the leaders of both countries have called for a speedy resolution, talks have made little progress.

Saktheara proposed the two countries follow the model set by the Malaysia-Thailand Joint Development Area in the gulf claimed by those two nations. “We’ll work together to extract natural resources and develop the two economies, based on the premise of equity and in accordance with international principles,” he said.

Similarly, ministry director-general for petroleum Cheap Sour told The Post that Cambodia is “ready” to negotiate with the Thai side and take full advantage of the OCA negotiations.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of