Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Oil and Gas Fields Found Off the Coast of Cambodia

As Ryan and I make the final preparations for our expedition to the Southwestern coast of Cambodia, a major announcement has suddenly brought the spotlight of media, business and political attention to the waters we plan to explore. Major energy multinationals, including Chevron, Total and Chinese National have made a huge strike, with preliminary results indicating massive gas and oil deposits in the coastal waters. In a few years time, Cambodia could easily triple its domestic product through oil and gas revenues. Of course, as one of the most corrupt states in Asia, it is highly unlikely that any of the oil money will reach ordinary Cambodian and will instead serve to strengthen the ruling elite and severely weaken anti-corruption efforts. The sad examples of other resource rich nations without strong democratic institutions suggest that oil may be a curse rather than a blessing. No matter how horrible the government, as long as the pipes stay open, buyers won't hesitate.

The untouched coast is suddenly more vulnerable than ever. It will change drastically and soon. Ryan and I leave in two days.

Here is a link to an article discussing the implications of the discovery -

Cambodia Set for Oil and Gas Development Bonanza

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