Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cambodia Looks to Kuwait for Oil Exploration Experience?

Cambodia Looks to Kuwait for Oil Exploration Experience

Thursday, April 02, 2009


UPDATE: BG Group: To Buy Rio Tinto's Thai Oil & Gas Blocks
Dow Jones

(Adds a Rio Tinto official's comment that the deal has been completed, a comment on the purpose of the sale and the latest development in the ThailandCambodia offshore border dispute.)

BANGKOK -(Dow Jones)- BG Group PLC (BG.LN) confirmed Wednesday it has agreed to buy all the shares of a unit of Rio Tinto Ltd. (RTP), paving the way for the U.K.-listed company to increase its holdings in oil and gas blocks in the Gulf of Thailand and theThailand-Cambodia offshore border area.

The company will acquire all the shares of Petroleum Resources (Thailand), an Australian company 100% owned by Rio Tinto, BG Group said in an email responding to Dow Jones Newswires' queries.

Petroleum Resources holds Rio Tinto's 16.67% stake in the Blocks B7, B8 & B9 concession and a 16.67% interest in an Overriding Royalty Agreement covering production from Block 9A in the Gulf of Thailand, it said.

The terms of the deal between BG Group and Rio are confidential, it said.

Prior to this deal, BG Group held a 50% interest in Blocks B7, B8 & B9 and in the Overriding Royalty Agreement. Chevron Corp. (CVX) owns a 33.3% stake in both the B7, B8 & B9 concession and the agreement, BG Group said.

A Rio Tinto official said the sale of the Australian unit was completed earlier Wednesday but declined to give further details. Macquarie Group, which is the financial adviser to Rio Tinto, also declined to comment.

The purpose of the divestment is to streamline Rio Tinto's business portfolio, which is focused on the mining and processing of mineral resources, a person involved in the industry said.

The B7, B8 and B9 concession, covering a total area of 10,420 square kilometers, was awarded to the group in 1972 but has been inactive since 1975 due to the overlapping claims in the area of Cambodia andThailand, according to Thailand's Department of Mineral Fuels.

The department said in February that it is ready to resume talks with the Cambodian government on the overlapping offshore claims so that the potentially resource-rich area of 26,000 square kilometers can be developed.

-By Supunnabul Suwannakij, Dow Jones Newswires; 66 2266 0744; tu.suwannakij@

(Alex Wilson in Australia contributed to the article.)

  (END) Dow Jones Newswires   04-01-09 0548ET   Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


Cambodia Looks to Kuwait for Oil Exploration Experience

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Cambodian National Assembly (NA) has just approved a draft agreement with Kuwait, which can facilitate the kingdom to draw oil-exploring experience from this Arabic country, national media said on Thursday. 

By approving the draft version of the Cambodian-Kuwaiti Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement, NA allows the Cambodian government to have one more partner to participate in the exploration and development of the oil and natural gas resources of the kingdom, Chinese-language daily newspaper the Commercial News quoted parliamentarian Cheam Yeap as telling reporters at NA here on Wednesday. 

"This is the goal that the government has pursued for years," he said. 

Cambodia can copy and fully tap the experience of Kuwait, who, as one of the oil-producing giants in the world, has a long and successful history in the field of petroleum and natural gas exploration, management and development, he said. 

"It will hugely benefit our future work in this sector," he added. 

Details of the draft agreement have not been disclosed. 

The off-coast area at the southwestern tip of Cambodia is believed to be rich in oil and natural gas. 

Over 10 foreign developers have been exploring the resources there, but none of them has started up production yet.

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