National Assembly Approves Draft Oil Management Law


The National Assembly yesterday approved the latest draft of the Law on Oil and Oil Production Management, a piece of legislation that has been two decades in the making.

A gas station in Phnom Penh’s Monivong Boulevard. KT/Siv Channa

With 9 chapters and 72 articles, the law aims to improve the management of the country’s oil resources and to do so in an efficient and transparent way, said Suy Sem, the Minister of Mines and Energy.

The law also serves to enhance investors’ confidence in the local oil industry and will help it develop in a sustainable way, he added.

Work on the current draft began in 1996 at the Ministry of Mines and Energy. It was drafted with the help of local and foreign experts and approved by the Council of the Ministers in April.

“This draft of the Law on Oil and Oil Product Management seeks to manage and develop the country’s oil resources efficiently, transparently, and with accountability,” Mr Sem said. “It will attract new investors, increase confidence in the industry, and boost the development of the oil sector.”

Cambodia expects to draw its first drop of oil in upcoming months, Mr Sem noted.

Singapore-based KrisEnergy has said that the Apsara Oilfield, located in Block A of the Khmer Basin in the Gulf of Thailand, will become productive this year or early 2020.

The Cambodian Petrochemical Company was awarded a license in 2012 to build an oil refinery. The $620-million plant is scheduled for completion in 2022 and will be able to process 5 million tonnes of oil a year.

Figures from the Ministry of Mines and Energy show that Cambodia consumed 2.5 million tonnes of petroleum products last year, a 10 percent increase compared to 2017. Cambodia imported from Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.