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Oil and Gas Expected Late Next Year: Lawmaker

An unidentified Cambodian man sleeps under a poster of a petroleum advertisement on a street in the capital Phnom Penh, file photo.

Cambodia expects to see its first flow of oil and gas from offshore blocs in December 2012, a senior lawmaker said.

Speaking at a resources conference over the weekend, Cheam Yiep, a Cambodian People’s Party parliamentarian, said “if nothing changes, Cambodia will get its first oil on Dec. 12, 2012, at noon.”

Oil and gas production represent an “opportunity” for increased economic growth and poverty reduction, he said.

However, Cheam Yiep said the goal was not yet to put a polished product on the market, but to sell the raw resources.

Cheang Sokha, director of the Youth Resources Development Program, said oil and gas are new to Cambodia, but he encouraged more information be made available, especially to the nation’s youth.

Thon Sospeara, 22, who attended the conference, said he did not know much about the natural resource, but he said he wanted more transparency and was curious about how much revenue it might bring.

Sem Vecha, a 21-year-old student at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, said she hoped for “good management of the income” by the government.

Cambodia has at least five known blocs for petroleum exploration in the Gulf of Thailand, as well as potential resources in the Tonle Sap basin.