SINGAPORE Petroleum Company and its partners began drilling an exploration well off Cambodia on Tuesday, the company said in a statement.
The well is the first in Block B, about 160 kilometres southwest of Sihanoukville, the company said.
Drilling to test the hydrocarbon potential is expected to take about 15 days, it said.
Singapore Petroleum, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, has a one-third interest in the block.
Cambodia expects to begin oil production in 2011, a senior energy official said in March.
Oil was discovered in 2005 by the US energy giant Chevron, the most active of several firms exploring in six blocks off the country's coast.
Prime Minister Hun Sen warned late last year that it was 'highly premature' to estimate how much oil Cambodia might hold in undersea reserves.
Concerns have also been raised over how Cambodia - one of the world's most corrupt countries - would use its new-found oil and gas wealth. -- AFP