While international attention is focused the political risk resulting from the ongoing diplomatic tit for tat between Cambodia and Thailand over Preah Vihear, overlooked is the fight to exploit untapped oil and gas reserves under their disputed maritime boundary in the Gulf of Thailand.
The disputed area, also known as the Overlapping Claims Area (‘OCA’), has been a point of contention in the relationship between the two countries and the settlement of the dispute would be a boon to not only diplomatic relations, but also to further energy exploration and production in South-East Asia.
As Thailand’s energy needs increase and the Cambodia’s nascent oil and gas industry matures, there is increasing pressure from many quarters to see the dispute between Thailand and Cambodia settled.
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Progress towards a resolution of the dispute
Preah Vihear temple a stumbling block to settling the OCA dispute
Is the Thai proposal unfair?
Thailand is still the main winner under the Cambodian proposal
What will bring both sides to finally settle this dispute?
- A change of philosophy to marine border demarcation
- A more mature Cambodian oil and gas industry
- Increased gas demand by Thailand
Could the concept of a Joint Development Area a solution?