January 26, 2012

South Korea eyes investment in Cambodia's oil, gas sector


PHNOM PENH, Jan. 26 -- South Korea is willing to invest in oil and gas industry in Cambodia, said a senior Korean official on Thursday.

"Korea is interested in investing in oil and gas and energy sector in Cambodia," Jae Hyun Shin, South Korea's visiting ambassador in charge of energy and mineral resources cooperation, said during a meeting with Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen.

He also asked the premier to support the plan.

Meanwhile, Hun Sen welcomed the plan and advised the South Korea to work with Cambodian National Petroleum Authority (CNPA) for oil and gas cooperation.

Cambodia's offshore areas are believed to be rich in oil and gas deposits. To date, the country awarded exploring licenses to a number of companies to operate in six blocks, according to the CNPA report.

During the meeting, Shin also asked the premier to give support to South Korean mining companies to do exploitation when they have finished their exploration process.

Cambodia and South Korea signed the energy and mining cooperation agreement in October, 2009.

Currently, some 13 South Korean firms, including two of them partnered with Cambodian firms, have been exploring mineral resources in Cambodia, mainly in the provinces of Preah Vihear, Takeo and Kampong Speu, according to the report of the Extractive Industry Social and Environment Impact (EISEI) Network NGO released late last month.

Cambodia is believed to be rich in metallic mineral, gold ore, bauxites, titanium, copper, and offshore oil and gas.

The EISEI said that so far, the government of Cambodia has granted mining concessional licenses to approximately 128 local and foreign entities to conduct mineral exploration in the country.

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