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Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen delivers a speech at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen delivers a speech at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh, Jan. 30, 2020 (AP photo by Heng Sinith).

Who Will Benefit From Cambodia’s New Oil Wealth?

Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021

After a long delay, Cambodia finally began producing oil from its offshore fields in the Gulf of Thailand last week. The Cambodian government’s partner in the oil venture, Singapore-based KrisEnergy Ltd., plans to ramp up production at new wells, with peak extraction expected to hit around 7,500 barrels per day by mid-February.

Cambodia has known about its offshore deposits for more than a decade, and major oil firms like Chevron had previously invested in exploration efforts off the country’s coast. But some investors were scared off by low global oil prices, and the Cambodian government initially had trouble securing a production agreement. KrisEnergy’s own lingering financial problems also likely contributed to the delay: The company, which owns a 95 percent stake in the Cambodian project, has been engaged in a lengthy debt restructuring that still is not completed. ...

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