Phnom Penh (FN), July 21 – A senior official of the Ministry of Mines and Energy said Cambodian oil in Block A can be pumped out in 2018 or 2019 should oil price goes up again.

“According the Ministry’s planning, if oil price does not go down further and instead is rising up again, then the oil development firm, KrisEnergy, would start its first oil pumping sometime in 2018 or 2019. However, if accidently the oil price continues to go down, then, the oil production could be delayed further,” said Meng Sakthira, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

Meng Sakthira made the statement during a consultative workshop on drafting of a law on oil this morning of July 21, 2016 at the conference room of the Ministry of Mines and Energy which was attended also by business firms and civil society groups that are working on the issue.

He also talked about permission for oil development works in the Gulf of Thailand that was the subject of a heavy dispute in the past but now the two sides have come to terms and have signed agreements with certain number of oil development firms respectively under the conditions that it would be effective only after a solution between the two countries to the problem of overlapping areas will be found.

He said as of the present, the two countries’ governments have initiated a lot of negotiations with a view to finding solution to the dispute over the overlapping areas and some progresses have already been achieved that include: 1) an agreement to joint development and 2) sharing the proceeds from the joint development.