Watchdogs Call For Transparency as Cambodia Strikes Oil

Civil society organizations and Cambodia’s banned opposition party have called on the government to release detailed information about revenue it is earning from the petroleum industry, days after the country struck oil following a decades-long quest.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced on social media that Cambodia had extracted its first drop of crude oil from fields in the Gulf of Thailand following 30 years of delays. The production, which began Monday, is the result of a joint venture between Singapore’s KrisEnergy Ltd. and the Cambodian government.

The government, which owns a five percent stake in the venture, signed an agreement with KrisEnergy in 2017 to develop more than 3,000 square kilometers of the Khmer basin in the gulf, known as Block A. Development of the field, which was originally expected to begin production last year, will proceed in phases, both sides said.

Anti-corruption groups and senior officials from the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) applauded the milestone but were quick to demand transparent and efficient revenue management.

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Reported by RFA’s Khmer Service. Translated by Samean Yun. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.