Oil dispute flares up

Secret meetings between high-ranking Thai and Cambodian officials to solve the demarcation of disputed offshore petroleum resources took place during the administration of Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority revealed yesterday.  In a statement some commentators described as “coordinated attack” by the current Cambodian and Thai governments against political opponents, it also claimed there have been no such discussions since the election of Puea Thai in July. The two countries first signed a memorandum of understanding on joint management of the Overlapping Claims Area in 2001, with a joint working group discussing further details from 2001 to 2007. The MoU for managing the OCA, which is thought to hold significant oil and gas reserves, was put on hold by the Thai government in November 2009.