No license ever granted for oil production in Cambodia, gov't says

20:29, June 25, 2010      

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The Cambodian government has said that it has so far not yet granted license to any company for oil production, except contracts or agreements for oil and gas exploration.

In a letter seen Friday, a response to Son Chhay, lawmaker from Cambodia's opposition Sam Rainsy Party, Sok An, deputy prime minister and chairman of Cambodia's National Petroleum Authority said Cambodia has never granted license to any oil company for production, but only agreements for exploration status.

He said 24 companies have had agreements with Cambodia for oil and gas exploration, but some of them have left the country after they had worked out that oil and gas resources in the country are not sufficient for production, said the letter dated June 9, 2010.

Last month, Cambodia hosted an international mining conference to seek lessons learned, and the right practices and policies as well as responsibility to develop the mining industry in the country.

Addressing at the opening of the conference, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen said his government was pleased to absorb lessons learned and shared, the good practices and management on the mining sector from other countries that will help Cambodia to effectively manage it, especially, on oil and gas exploitation.

He said, his government was committed to encouraging investors to invest in oil and gas in line with proper management to protect the environmental impact as well as proper management on revenue to be collected from the sector to ensure "transparency, accountability so as to serve the social and economic growth and to reduce the poverty of the people."

The premier said Cambodia's mining sector was not invested or explored by foreign investors until his country gained full peace in 1998.

He said, based on research, Cambodia has had more natural resources rather than just oil and gas, including bauxite, gold, copper, zinc, iron ores, among others.

Cambodia is expected to earn revenue from oil and gas by 2012.

Until now, a number of foreign companies including those from China, the United States, South Korea, and Japan, are interested in the oil and gas exploration in Cambodia.

Source: Xinhua


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