Archive for December 5th, 2008

US Oil Company Pays US$120 Million to Buy Oil Exploration License for Explorations at the Bottom of the Khmer Sea – Thursday, 4.12.2008

Posted on 5 December 2008. Filed under: Week 589 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 589

“It is reported that Chevron, a US big oil company, had paid US$120 million into a social development foundation of the Hun Sen government, in order to receive the concession to explore oil in one of the six blocks in the Sihanoukville sea.

“The report added that an Indonesian company, Medco International Petroleum, spent US$4.5 million to buy a license to do undersea oil exploration in the Cambodian sea, by cooperating with its partners from Kuwait and from Sweden that had also signed agreements with the National Petroleum Authority of Cambodia [as an exception in his context, no Internet website for the National Petroleum Authority of Cambodia could be found – see, however, The Mirror of 10 June 2007]. This license depends on a model contract that the National Petroleum Authority of Cambodia had provided for the first time for Block A to Chevron in 2002. This contract talks about the sharing of benefits with the Cambodian government, and about the taxation rate on oil income.

“When asking the Minister of Information, Mr. Khieu Kanharith, about these problems by telephone, he advised to talk to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Council of Ministers Sok An, who directly administers the National Petroleum Authority of Cambodia. After contacting his office by telephone for an interview, a man who received Deputy Prime Minister Sok An’s phone, said that the Deputy Prime Minister was busy.

“While the US Chevron company was already drilling to explore oil in Block A, the National Petroleum Authority of Cambodia and the cabinet of Minister Sok An provided licenses to other companies to explore oil at different blocks as follows:
–          Block A: This block was contracted to Chevron of the United States, and it is believed to have the most oil and gas deposits. In Block A, Chevron has a 55% stake; the partners of this company are Mitsui Oil Exploration, having 30%, and Caltex with 15%. At present, those companies are drilling for oil at fifteen places and are considering to drill even more. According to the National Petroleum Authority of Cambodia, Chevron and its partners have invested US$120 million.

–          Block B: It is far from Sihanoukville and it was contracted to the Singapore Petroleum Company cooperating with a Malaysian oil company [Petronas?] and the Thai oil company PTT. Each company has one third stake. The Singaporean company and its partners have invested US$1 million, and they will invest US$2.5 million more when oil deposits are found in this block.

–          Block C: This block was contracted to Polytec of Hong Kong. The National Petroleum Authority of Cambodia announced that 100% of the rights were given to the Polytec company only, there are no partners.
–          Block D: According to the publication of an Indonesian newspaper, first, the license of this block was contracted to China Zheng Rong Cambodia Energy, but then Block D was transferred to China Petrotech Holding that bought the 48% stake from the Zhen Rong company. Petrotech Holding has invested US$4 million in Block D, and plans to spend another US$2 million of its US$4 million to explore oil for the first time in this block.
–          Block E: This block is located next to the Western border of a disputed region with Siam [Thailand] and it was contracted to the Indonesian Medco International Petroleum company, which has a 41.25% stake, Kuwait Energy has 20%, JHL Petroleum with 4.13%, and a Swedish company has 34%. For this Block E, Medco of Indonesia had paid US$4.5 million to a social development foundation of the Cambodian government.

–          Block F: This block was contracted to China National Offshore Oil, a big oil company, and it was signed with the National Petroleum Authority of Cambodia a few months ago. Details about the agreement and plans for this block are not shown.
“The Director-General of the National Petroleum Authority, Mr. Te Duong Dara, refused to be available for a direct interview over the provision of licenses and the payment by all oil exploring companies to the government. He added that – because now there are disputes over taxation laws on oil that is found at the bottom of the sea – we have not yet reached a good solution for those companies to pay tax to the state.
“Te Duong Dara continued to say that we still have problems with taxation laws and we have to guarantee that the new taxation laws will be right; otherwise, those foreign companies will withdraw their investments from Cambodia.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3630, 4.12.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 4 December 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1811, 4.12.2008

  • Fourteen Japanese Terrorists, Suspected to Be Hiding in Cambodia, Are Being Searched [according to the Phnom Penh police chief, Mr. Touch Naruth]
  • China Adds More Aid to Cambodia and Vows to Encourage to Expand Commercial Relations to US$1,000,000,000 [also, Yuan 100,000,000 – where Yuan 50,000,000 [[approx. USD7,300,000]] is grant aid – is added to the US$200 million concession loan provided during Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to China]
  • [Two] Robbers Shot a Man Dead to Robb a Motorbike – and Escaped [Chaom Chau, Dangkao, Phnom Penh]
  • The Number of Disabled People Still Increases Every Year [because of mines and unexploded ordnance, traffic accidents, malnutrition, birth defects, and old age, and the rate of disabled people in Cambodia is around 2% of the population]
  • Thai Airports Start to Operate Again [after the Thai court decided to recall Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat from his position and the demonstrators stopped the occupation of the airports]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #296, 4.12.2008

  • Rumduol District Police Arrested [at least five] People who Saw [former National Police Commissioner] Hok Lundy’s Fatal Helicopter Crash, Suspecting Them of Taking Valuable Belongings from the Body [said the five citizens – but the district police said they just invited them to ask if they took anything from General Hok Lundy’s body – Svay Rieng]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #150, 4.12.2008

  • Poipet Policeman Might Face the Law If He Is Found Guilty of Using Violence on a Boy Dragging a Cart [on 30 November 2008, the Asian Human Rights Commission released a statement condemning a Poipet policeman, Mr. Ruos Man, who wounded a 14 year old child [on 26 November 2008]; The Commission demanded the Ministry of Interior to take action according to the law; however the police said that that boy ran and hurt himself on a barrier]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3630, 4.12.2008

  • US Oil Company Pays US$120 Million to Buy Oil Exploration License for Explorations at the Bottom of the Khmer Sea

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4759, 4.12.2008

  • Oknha Doung Chhiv Hired Lawyers to Defend Himself Against an Accusation by Princess Bopha Devi after He Missed to Appear in Court Three Times [Princess Bopha Devi sued him to share 45% of the money from 10 hectares of land that they bought together during the first term government, land which Oknha Doung Chhiv sold to a Korean company]
  • The Opposition Parties Put Pressure to Adopt an Anti-Corruption Law when Donors Meet Each Other Today [the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party raised four measures for donor countries and development partners to considered: 1. Reform the National Assembly giving opposition minority parties a better voice, 2. Adopt an anti-corruption law, 3. Clarify basic governance and decentralization problems, and 4. Implementation a land law to prevent serious human rights abuses]
  • European Commission Provides Aid to Non-Government Organizations [Euro 105,000 is provided to the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, Euro 120,000 to an independent information center [maybe “Documentation Center of Cambodia?, Euro 70,000 to the Committee for Free and Fair Elections – COMFREL, Euro 150,000 to the Friends-International of France, and Euro 149,700 to the Asia Foundation]
  • France Delivers Master Plan about Public Lighting in Phnom Penh; the Municipal Governor [Mr. Kep Chuktema] Will Go to France to Seek Aid for the Public Lighting Project

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

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