Cambodia and Thailand plan joint venture in disputed waters

Aug 11, 1999 02:00 AM

Cambodia and Thailand are discussing a possible joint venture to exploit oil reserves in disputed waters, a Cambodian government spokesman has said. The announcement came following talks between Prime Minister Hun Sen and delegates from the Petroleum Exploration and Production Authority of Thailand, which promised to aid its fledgling Cambodian counterpart with training.
"The Thai petroleum authority is to discuss future joint ventures and co-operation for offshore oil exploration especially in the overlapping areas between Cambodia and Thailand," Hun Sen's spokesman Soun Sithy told.
"We must pursue the prospect of exploiting oil with Thailand," he added. "Cambodia needs development. Peace alone without development will not guarantee long stability for the country." Cambodia is believed to have moderate offshore oil and gas reserves.
But industry officials say exploration has been slow to start due to unresolved border disputes with Thailand and Vietnam as well as instability inside Cambodia.
In June Kuwait offered Cambodia an undisclosed aid package aimed at starting exploration but currently no oil is being tapped from Cambodian waters.

Source: AFP via Iinoil
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