The idea for a joint development area (JDA) for oil and gas exploration in overlapping claims in the Gulf of Thailand between Thailand and Cambodia was allegedly considered during the weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday (Dec 3).
During the 20-minute meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan informed the Cabinet that he had met with Cambodian Mines and Energy Minister Suy Sem last month to discuss the prospective collaborative project.
During the gathering, the Cambodian minister expressed openness to pursue a JDA with Thailand, but only if geographical borders were not included in the deal.
Later, Gen Prawit notified the Cabinet of Cambodia’s intention to proceed with the JDA, citing rising global oil prices and the opportunity for the two nations to rely on their own energy resources through the production of oil and gas from the JDA, as well as the development of related sectors.
The Cabinet also resolved to form a committee, chaired by a foreign ministry official, to manage the JDA with Cambodia, modeled after the Thai-Malaysian JDA.
The overlapping region in the Gulf of Thailand between the two nations is roughly 26,000 square kilometers, with the intended joint development project comprising around 16,000 square kilometers.