Energy

Stolen Crude Oil to Be Returned to Cambodia

An agreement is in place to return 300,000 barrels of crude oil that were stolen after a payment dispute with Singaporean energy producers, KrisEnergy.
Motorists drive past the Ministry of Mines and Energy in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Motorists drive past the Ministry of Mines and Energy in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa

Cambodia has reached an agreement to receive 300,000 barrels of crude oil that was stolen by a tanker following a payment dispute with Singaporean energy​ KrisEngergy, a senior government official said on Tuesday

Involved parties have agreed on major principles and expect to draft a detailed agreement to be signed soon, said Meng Sak Theara, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Mines and Energy​​, during a press conference at the Office of the Council of Ministers.

“Fortunately, at the same time as the oil case is being negotiated, international oil prices have risen, so that the revenue we get from selling oil is expected to be higher than what we used to get,” Sak Theara said.

“70 percent of all oil we will get, 26 percent will be for shipping costs and 4 percent for KrisEnergy company’s debt, we will be able to sell oil and take the oil that we have to get under this oil agreement to serve the nation,” he said.

Cambodia and all parties have agreed to rely on an independent agency to inspect the tanker set to return from Bangladesh to dock at the Gulf of Thailand bordering Cambodia, he said.

“Relying on an independent agency to inspect the ship for oil loss or not, and the quality of oil is good or not, we have confirmed from the independent agency that the amount of oil is not lost and the quality of oil is still good, they manage our oil well,” he said.

The Cambodian government has also filed a complaint of theft against the tanker after it sailed away with crude oil in the wake of a dispute over pay with KrisEnergy. The tanker, MT Strovolos, was detained by the Indonesian Navy last year.

KrisEnergy had produced nearly 300,000 barrels of oil, half of it in five wells, and nearly 200,000 barrels have not been pumped due to disruptions, Sak Theara said. He added that the Ministry and a Canadian energy company are studying together to restart the work, with existing equipment resuming work on the oil block soon.