Cambodia-focused exploration company Angkor Gold (TSXV:ANK) is actively pursuing oil and gas opportunities in Cambodia in addition to its current roster of mineral exploration projects.
The Canadian-listed explorer has been operating in the Asian nation since 2012, closing 10 deals with a combined value of US$19.5 million within that timespan.
Currently, Angkor owns the Banlung gold and molybdenum license, as well as the Andong Meas, Oyadao and Oyadao South gold properties and the Koan Nheak copper and gold license.
It is this project diversity and its seven years of exploration that make Angkor confident in its pursuit of oil and gas assets. That and timing, as Asian countries look to bolster their resource sector potential and attractiveness.
?There is a lot of interest and government support in oil and gas development in Southeast Asia as a whole,? Angkor CEO Stephen Burega said.
?After working on this for five years we have completed a full survey of Cambodia?s licenses. Our team has already compiled, interpreted [and] evaluated existing public and proprietary geologic data that indicates the probability of oil and/or gas in Cambodia.?
Domestic oil and gas production would be good news for Cambodia, which now imports the vast majority of its petroleum products from its neighboring nations Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand.
Especially since consumption and demand of the energy fuels has steadily increased ? in 2015, petroleum imports jumped by 64 percent from the previous year, rising to 2.55 million tonnes.
?There is an existing need to supply the in-country market for both oil and gas, as well as the reality that there are very significant potential export partners in the region who are keen to secure long-term contracts for both oil and gas,? added Burega.
Angkor will focus its efforts on onshore resource plays that will add value and diversity to its current list of Cambodian projects.
?We see the potential for petroleum accumulations in Cambodia indicated by onshore natural oil seepages, the presence of sedimentary rocks and geological structures that trap and hold oil and gas, and the similarity of geology of areas adjacent to Cambodia where oil and gas has been found and is being produced,? said Burega.
?All of these vectors are pointing us towards building out our team, and exploring the potential in the area.?
Angkor isn?t the only company with its eyes set on developing Cambodia?s energy sector. In fact, it was Kris Energy?s (SGX:SK3) foray into offshore exploration that helped galvanize Angkor?s resolve to attain onshore assets.
As Burega explained, ?we have continued to keep our eyes open for new opportunities to build shareholder value through the exploration of natural resource opportunities in Cambodia, and now that we see the beginning of an offshore oil sector, led by Singaporean-based Kris Energy, the decision was made to act on our accumulated knowledge of the potential in the region.?
In an effort to claim its place amongst other nations with robust energy sectors in the region, Cambodia has been investing in advancing its oil-refining infrastructure.
?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,? Burega pointed out.
?The Cambodian market for oil and gas is open, and the Cambodian government has made the development of this sector a priority for the continued development of the country.?
That makes sense for a country that has been rapidly growing and advancing its economy. Over the last decade the nation?s GDP has grown at an annual rate of 7 percent.
While Angkor is still in the process of acquiring an initial exploration block resource play, the company has plans to approach the sector much in the same way it has with previous minerals.
?We are aiming to build a new vertical within the Angkor model and lead the development of Cambodia?s understanding of the potential for a new sedimentary oil and gas basin,? Burega said.
?Once the negotiations are complete, and Angkor has full access to the initial block, then more details can be publicly shared on plans for exploration, fundraising and timelines/milestones.?
Source: Investing News Network