Thursday, 24 March 2011 15:00 Cheang Sokha and Jeremy Mullins
CHEVRON will establish a permanent office in Cambodia on May 1, a move government officials welcomed as the Kingdom eyes oil production slated for 2012.
Deputy Prime Minister Sok An met with representatives from the United States firm on Tuesday, where Chevron officials reaffirmed their commitment to working with Cambodia, according to Ek Tha, Council of Ministers Press Department Deputy Director.
According to Ek Tha, Sok An said: “We have been working together for years but Chevron has yet to have a permanent office. We can now achieve a new phase by establishing an office in Cambodia.”
Chevron owns a 30-percent stake and is the operator of 485,000 hectare offshore oil Block A.
Last July, Sok An said Cambodia hoped to have the first drop of oil produced on December 12, 2012.
Singapore-based Chevron spokesman Gareth Johnstone confirmed the company would open an office in Cambodia yesterday.
He also pointed to a recent statement from Chevron claiming an investment decision for the offshore Block A would be made this year. A 30-year production permit is expected to be approved by the government in the first half of 2011, it said.
“A final investment decision for construction of a wellhead platform and a floating storage and offloading vessel is expected in 2011,” it added.
Sok An – who is also Chairman of the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority – said the office would increase cooperation between Chevron and the CNPA, partially by offering increased training opportunities for Cambodians, said Ek Tha.
“It is very good timing. And you know very well that we need skilled people to work on Chevron’s offshore project,” Ek Tha quoted the Deputy Prime Minister as saying at Tuesday’s meeting.
The Ministry of Education has been working with the Ministry of Labour and the National Vocational Training Centre to prepare Cambodians for working on Chevron’s production platform and other facilities, he said.
Steve Glick has been appointed as head of Chevron’s new office. The firm is also the owner of the Caltex network of petrol stations across Cambodia.