The Khmer Basin has some significant challenges compared to Songkla and the Pattani (or even Malay) Basins. Enterprise and Premier drilled a few wells and shot some seismic back in the 80s and 90s. Chevron drilled some 18 test wells between 2002 and when they left in 2014. (Lots of terrific geoscience done on those wells! But still left the basin and some of it's plays virtually untouched.) Then Kris Energy took over from Chevron in 2014 and in 2020/2021 drilled their six production wells at Apsara before running out of money and going tit's up. They actually shut in Wassana and put Rossukon on mothballs to focus on the Apsara pool.
My introduction to this region came in January last year when I was asked to solve a reservoir geology problem by a friend. I like puzzles - as you all well know! It took a couple of weeks but I basically had it all figured out. Since that time my understanding of the play has become a little more nuanced as i have worked through every single well, every single report and every bit of the 3-D seismic across the basin and compared and contrasted it with the Pattani Basin analogues. As always the devil is in the details. It was kinda nice putting together a two and a half hour presentation to the Minister of Petroleum and his technical support teams in July last year in Phnom Penh. (After having solved the puzzle I was asked to provide any insights into potential "upsides" - and that was the basis of the new presentation.)
Yes - the Resource is indubitably present - and it is not out of range of the estimates given by Chevron, Kris Energy or NSAI - but it will require some careful thinking and planning. I plan to test out my theories and concepts once the go ahead is reached. I do not pray for Cambodia - I am not a man of Faith even as I understand deeply the ancient texts better wisdoms and messages. What i do know is that there are plenty of extremely talented and capable people in Cambodia and they only lack actual local hands on experience - and that is something - real world drilling and reservoir geology experience - I can help mentor. If the concepts I have for the offshore work as I hope (there are risks and more puzzles to solve) then I hope i may put a smile back on many hopeful Petroleum Geology and Reservoir Engineering students faces again.
There will certainly be lots of work on the Onshore Block VIII to assign and delegate help with over the next few years - and not everyone gets handed a Virgin Oil prospective sedimentary Basin to play with and figure out. I am looking forward to the prospect and the challenges - just not so much the heat and humidity - I really am set for cool temperate latitudes.