US oil giant Chevron has finished exploring for oil and gas off the coast of Cambodia and will be ready to begin production in 2008, the director general of the Port Authority of Sihanoukville said Thursday.
Chevron shipped its exploration equipment from the Sihanoukville port three days ago and now plans to ship in new equipment for oil production, Lou Kim Chhun said by telephone. “They have finished the exploration. Company officials informed me that they will start the production stage in 2008,” he said.
Te Duong Tara, the director general of the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority, referred questions to Chevron, which in July signed a joint study agreement with the government to further explore offshore discoveries made in 2004 and 2005. “I am not controlling Chevron’s activity,” Te Duong Tara added.
Chevron exploration manager David Moffat said by phone from Bangkok that he was not authorized to speak to reporters, and referred questions to Chevron’s public relations department.
Chevron’s Bangkok spokeswoman Pornsuree Konanta did not respond to requests for comment.
In 2002, the Cambodian government awarded Chevron a concession for the exploration and production of oil and gas in Block A, located in the Gulf of Thailand off the coast of Sihanoukville.
According to Chevron’s Web site, Chevron began a five well exploration program in Block A during September 2006, which wrapped up in December.
The Web site, which was updated in March, said another drilling program, with four wells, would likely be completed in 2007. Any additional drilling in 2008 and 2009, the company said, would be contingent on the results of the earlier drilling programs.
Chevron holds a 55 percent stake in Block A; Japanese firm Moeco, which is part of the Mitsui group of companies, owns 30 percent; and South Korean joint venture GS Caltex owns 15 percent, according to the CNPA.
Chevron owns half of GS Caltex, an oil services company that was founded in 1967 as South Korea’s first privatized oil refining company.
According to its Web site, GS Caltex first entered the oil exploration and production business in 2003, when it bought the stake in Cambodia’s Block A.