Friday, August 10, 2007
Cambodia to triple navy to protect offshore oil sites
Cambodia's government says it will triple the size of its navy to provide security for offshore oil sites.
The minister of defence, Tea Bahn, has confirmed the plan after parliamentarians called for better protection for foreign oil companies against terrorism.
The minister says the government intends to increase the number of sailors from 1,000 to 3,000, and train 2,000 marines.
In 2003, only four of Cambodia's 12 Soviet-built ships were operational.
In 2005 China gave six patrol boats to Cambodia to bolster its ageing fleet, but it is still unclear exactly how many ships the country has in the water.
Cambodia hopes to begin production as early as 2010 following the discovery of vast oil and gas reserves off its coast two years ago.
US energy giant, Chevron, which made the initial discovery, is expected to drill more test wells next year.