Global petroleum giant ChevronTexaco announced on Thursday that its affiliate has discovered oil in Cambodian waters.
Four exploration wells operated by Chevron Overseas Petroleum and drilled in “offshore Cambodia Block A,” 6,278 square km in the Gulf of Thailand, have yielded results, a company release said.
Pockets of oil between 12.3- and 41.7-meters-deep were found in the wells, the release said, adding that the company will conduct one more exploration in the area.
Rattikan Chaiwanit, a Chevron regional director of government relations and public affairs, said Chevron needed to assess the results of the explorations before it could draw any conclusions about the area’s commercial viability.
“At this stage, it is still too early to talk about the production [technical] or economic of the area,” he wrote by e-mail.
This is the first time Chevron, which is drilling in partnership with Moeco Cambodia Ltd and LG Caltex Oil Co, has publicly revealed its results, though last month National Assembly President Prince Norodom Ranariddh told reporters that the company had struck a commercially viable oil field and would begin extraction by 2007.
Other officials said afterward that the prince’s comments were premature, and that it would be some time before the value of the oil deposits were known.
Chevron could not detail its future plans or provide a time-frame until it has finished analyzing recently discovered data, Chaiwanit wrote on Thursday.
Bin May Mialia, who has 15 years experience in the petroleum industry but requested not to name his business, said that any crude oil discovered in Cambodia would have to be solely for export because the cost of refinery operations was too high.
He added that he believed it was unlikely that commercial drilling was a possibility.