Cambodia unclear on oil plans after partner heads towards liquidation

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PHNOM PENH, June 10 (Reuters) - Cambodia's government said on Thursday it had no immediate plan for maintaining oil production in the country, after its partner KrisEnergy announced it was headed to liquidation, just five months after extracting the country's first drop of oil.

Singapore-listed KrisEnergy (KRIS.SI) said on June 4 that it was "unable to pay its debts based on actual and/or contingent liabilities and will proceed to liquidation".

KrisEnergy signed a pact with Cambodia's government in 2017 to develop 3,083 sq km (1,190 sq miles) of the Khmer basin in the Gulf of Thailand known as Block A, after it bought out Chevron's (CVX.N) operating interest in 2014 for $65 million.

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"I can't predict ... I can't answer this question, lets wait and see," Ministry of Mines and Energy spokesman said when asked about future oil production.

Tanya Pang, KrisEnergy Vice President, declined to comment when contacted by email, referring Reuters to past statements.

However, Cambodian government officials still celebrated the first drop of oil at a preservation ceremony in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, five days after KrisEnergy made its announcement.

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Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Editing by Martin Petty

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