Thailand and Cambodia discuss joint oil exploration pact

Aug 06, 2006 02:00 AM

Thailand and neighbouring Cambodia are now discussing possible cooperation on conducting surveys and exploration for petroleum in an overlapping offshore area claimed by the two countries, a senior Thai Energy Ministry official said.
Cherdpong Siriwit, Energy Ministry's permanent secretary, said the project would benefit both countries by reducing their dependence on petroleum from foreign countries while oil prices continue on a rising trend.

The two countries may establish a joint independent agency to help supervise administration and benefit sharing if negotiations succeeded, said Mr Cherdpong.
While the joint development area (JDA) programme signed earlier by Malaysia and Thailand stipulates that benefits will be shared equally between the two countries, it is still unknown at what rate any advantages in the proposed agreement will be split between the countries.

The Malaysia-Thailand accord is viewed as a model of the proposed pact between the Khmer and the Thai governments. A feasibility study has been conducted in the overlapping area between Thailand and Cambodia and it is believed to have a high potential for natural gas, he said.
If agreement is reached between the countries, Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production Public Co. will be assigned to invest in the activity as well as conducting a thorough survey.

Another possible cooperation between the two neighbouring countries, according to Mr Cherdpong, calls for a joint construction of the Stung Nam electricity power plant with a production capacity of approximately 230 MW.
Thailand will also buy electricity from the plant after its completion.

Source: PIN/TNA
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