In August, 2019, Angkor announced that it had received approval of its license application for Block VIII, a 7300 square kilometre oil and gas concession in Cambodia and is proceeding with the negotiation of the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with regard to the license.
Cambodia has traditionally been viewed primarily as country with a mining and mineral resource opportunities, with few if any onshore exploratory oil and gas wells drilled in the entire country. However, sizeable oil and gas reserves have been developed on three sides of the country – in the Gulf of Thailand to the west, the Khorat Plateau of Thailand to the north, and in the Vietnamese Cuu Long Basin of the South China Sea to the south.
Cambodia’s own oil and gas industry is not as well explored and developed as in surrounding countries, but activity is progressing rapidly. In Cambodia Kris Energy LTD. (Singapore) has announced it will be bringing its offshore oil platform online in mid-2019. A $1.6 billion refining facility is planned in South-Western Cambodia by a Chinese/Cambodia investment group.
The potential for petroleum accumulations in Cambodia is indicated by:
- onshore natural oil seepages
- presence of sedimentary rocks
- geological structures that may trap and hold oil and gas
- interpretation of regional geology
- similarity of geology of areas adjacent to Cambodia within which oil and gas has been found and is being produced
(SOURCE: Cambodian National Petroleum Authority, 2012)
The thickness, burial history and reservoir and source rock characteristics of the Permian limestones in Cambodia appear to be as good or better than in Thailand, but no onshore wells have ever been drilled on the Cambodian side of the border.
Sedimentary basins are acknowledged to be the prerequisite for oil and gas discoveries. The sedimentary basins inland in Cambodia have never been systematically explored, partially because of previous historical regional instability and a poor understanding of local geology as it relates to hydrocarbons.
The Kampong-Som Basin is a newly recognized and completely unexplored onshore sedimentary basin in southwestern Cambodia. The Kampong-Som Basin was first identified and interpreted as a foreland basin in 2016 by researchers from the Danish Geological Survey who were interpreting a marine seismic database off the south coast of Vietnam. Khorat Plateau Basin, Tonle Sap Basin, and the Kampong-Som Basin are now interpreted to be one continuous foreland basin. The Kampong-Som Basin of western Cambodia extends from west side of Tonle Sap down to the Kampot area of the southern coast and is bounded by fold belts on East and West. Oil and gas pool geometry appears structurally-controlled by high-angle faults. The Kampong-Som Basin has a thermal maturity within the oil window and a higher thermal maturity within the dry gas window.
Cambodia’s inland basin is covered by Mesozoic (Cretaceous, Jurassic) sandstones interbedded by conglomerates and clay stones. These structures are of Late Cretaceous-Cenozoic age and may have been developed at the same time as the basins in the Gulf of Thailand. The thick organic-rich shales of Cretaceous, Triassic or Permian Age are the probable source rock. The thickness, burial history and reservoir and source rock characteristics of the Kampong-Som Basin in Cambodia appear comparable to the Khorat Plateau Basin in Thailand, but no onshore wells have ever been drilled on the Cambodian side of the border. Until one or more high-risk exploratory test wells are drilled into this basin to assess the thermal maturity of these Permian limestones, it is impossible to determine if light oil or dry gas will be found, but comparisons have already been made by the — USEIA to the prolific Permian oil fields of Texas in the USA.
Angkor, through its wholly-owned subsidiary EnerCam Resources, has applied for an onshore oil and gas concession and available 7,000 km2 license in Cambodia. Angkor’s 10-year presence in Cambodia as a valued and respected exploration company, along with its principals’ experience in the oil and gas sector, makes it an ideal candidate.
Dr. Lorne Rosenthal
To assist in pursuing and developing oil and gas opportunities in Cambodia, Angkor is working with recognized oil and gas exploration expert Dr. Lorne Rosenthal, who has worked in oil and gas exploration in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin for over 40 years. Dr. Rosenthal is Vice-President of Angkor subsidiary EnerCam Resources. Lorne Rosenthal has worked in oil and gas exploration in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin for over 40 years, starting in Calgary with the Foothills Exploration Group of Union Oil of California. Over the course of a 40 year career, he has worked in a number of different staff and consultant positions (Well Site Geologist, Exploration Geologist, Area Manager, Senior Research Scientist, VP Exploration, and finally President and CEO). He has been either employed or retained under contract by literally dozens of very successful oil companies in Calgary (Unocal, Sceptre, Murphy, Chevron, PanCanadian, and PetroCanada).
Since the beginning of his career, he has successfully drilled over 200 exploration and development wells (mainly in the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba in Western Canada) but has also worked the Canadian Arctic (Beaufort sea) and the Yukon, as well as the US (Montana and North Dakota). In 2017 he co-founded and manages a Calgary-based exploration venture (Sundog Oil and Gas). In 1984 he completed an MSc in Geology (McMaster University) and also completed a Ph.D. in Petroleum Geology at the University of Manitoba in 1989. He has managed his own consulting practice since 1989.
Mike Weeks is Executive Chairman of Angkor Gold Corp. In addition to Angkor, Weeks has had a long and successful career in the oil and gas industry with 25 years’ experience in project management of petroleum-related industries. Weeks has also spent over 14 years negotiating with foreign governments in developing and implementing natural resource concessions. His experience includes oil production in North Africa, engineering and design in Europe, the development of gas processing facilities and field and plant operations in Canada. Weeks has worked with international oil and gas producers including AEC West, Wintershall, Zueitina, Encana, and Amoco.