The PetroVietnam Drilling & Well Service Corp (PV Drilling) rig PV Drilling III, which has a contract to drill five new wells for KrisEnergy in the Kingdom’s waters, has not yet begun work, said an official from the General Department of Petroleum at the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
The three-month contract started in October this year, according to vietnamplus.vn.
Tan Ek Kia, the independent non-executive chairman of KrisEnergy, said in June this year Cambodia’s Block A development oilfield is significantly important for the company’s future business, noting that the project will be historic for the Kingdom.
He said there has been substantial geological and geophysical work undertaken in the block as well as exploration and appraisal drilling.
“Of the 27 wells drilled in the original licence area, 23 encountered oil and/or gas,” he noted.
Because the Khmer Basin is yet to produce oil, he said the company is taking a cautious approach by using the minimum of facilities and wells for the initial phase of development.
Cheap Sour, the director-general of the General Department of Petroleum at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, said PV Drilling III has not drilled any wells for KrisEnergy yet. However, he added that the company has already been preparing facilities because it is now in Block A.
“They will bring other facilities to drill the well. They [the company] told us they will do so this year, but we cannot give the exact date because now we are facing COVID-19, which especially affects imported equipment and other facilities for drilling. However, they are trying to work on this,” Sour said.
“We cannot say they are delaying their work because they are now actively working on it,” Sour added.
Singapore-based KrisEnergy is currently developing the Apsara oilfield’s Block A, which is in Cambodian waters. No commercial extraction of oil and gas has yet begun. All the petroleum products for local demand are currently imported, chiefly from Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand.
For oil and gas exploration, Cambodia has established six offshore blocks (A–F), 19 onshore blocks (I–XIX) and four blocks in an overlapping claims area (OCA) that is contested with Thailand. Offshore Block A is likely to be the first to produce oil.
The government has estimated that the field holds 30 million barrels of oil, which could be recovered over nine years. In August 2017 the government signed a production-sharing agreement with Singapore-listed KrisEnergy, which holds the rights to develop Block A.
Production of oil is slowly getting closer. In late 2018, Singapore company Keppel Offshore & Marine was contracted to modify and upgrade a production barge for use in the Apsara oil field in Block A. Oil industry publications say the barge will be able to process up to 30,000 barrels of fluid per day and be able to separate oil, gas and water.
Plans for the first stage of production include a single unmanned wellhead platform and a moored production barge. Crude oil will be piped to a storage and offloading vessel approximately 1.5 kilometres away.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.