The Apsara oil field is the first hydrocarbon development project in Cambodia. Image courtesy of KrisEnergy.
The field is expected to start production in 2020.
Fugro was contracted to perform a geotechnical investigation for the Apsara field development in January 2020. Image courtesy of Fugro.

The Apsara oil field, located offshore in the Khmer Basin in the Cambodian part of the Gulf of Thailand, represents the first hydrocarbon development project in Cambodia.

The offshore field is 95% owned by operator KrisEnergy, while the remaining 5% stake is held by the Government of Cambodia. Apsara field is situated in the Cambodia Block A.

The fiscal and technical agreements for the Apsara field development were signed between KrisEnergy and the Government of Cambodia in August 2017, which was followed by a final investment decision (FID) for the initial Phase 1A development of the project in October 2017.

Estimated to cost approximately £70m ($87m), the Apsara Phase 1A development is expected to commence production by the end of 2020. The field is expected to produce at a rate of 7,500 barrels of oil a day (bpd) in the initial phase.

Location and field details

The Apsara field is located in the northeastern part of the Cambodia Block A in the Khmer Basin of the Gulf of Thailand, Cambodia.

The Cambodia Block A is spread over 3,083km2 of which the Apsara field occupies approximately 200km2. The water depth in the Apsara field area ranges from 50m to 80m.

The gross 2P reserves of Cambodia Block A are estimated to be approximately 6.8 million barrels. KrisEnergy has been the operator of Cambodia Block A since October 2014

Apsara field will be developed in multiple phases in order to reduce risk as it is the first development in the Khmer Basin of the Gulf of Thailand.

Apsara field initial development phase

The initial Phase 1A development of the offshore field involves a minimum facilities wellhead platform, five production wells, and a production barge.

The construction of the wellhead platform was completed in August 2020. The wellhead platform will receive electricity from the production barge and can handle up to six wells.

The Ingenium II production barge to be deployed at the field will have a processing capacity of up to 30,000 barrels of fluid a day.

The various units in the production barge include crude oil production separators, flare system, three main power generation units, main electrical switch room and emergency switch room, a pedestal crane, main mooring winches and ropes, main electrical transformers, produced water package, boiler for heating medium system, , new living quarters, helideck and an emergency diesel generator.

The crude oil will be pumped from the barge to the shuttle tankers for transport to the shore.

The initial phase of the field development will enable the operator to assess the reservoir and provide required information to plan the further development of the field.

Financing for Apsara Phase 1A development

Kepinvest Singapore, a subsidiary of Keppel Corporation, agreed to provide a loan of up to £70m ($87m) for the initial field development project in April 2020. Keppel Corporation holds 40% equity interest in KrisEnergy.

Contracts awarded for Cambodia’s first oil field development

Profab, a subsidiary of National Oilwell Varco (NOV), was awarded a contract for the supply of a minimum facilities wellhead platform in 2019. The work scope included the fabrication, construction, and pre-commissioning of the jacket and topsides. The wellhead platform was constructed at Profab’s facility on Batam Island, Indonesia.

Offshore Construction Specialists provided detailed structural design and process engineering for the minimum facilities wellhead platform of the Apsara field.

Petrovietnam Drilling and Well Service Corporation (known as PV Drilling), which is a subsidiary of PetroVietnam, was contracted to drill five production wells in the Apsara field in August 2020.

Keppel Shipyard, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine, was awarded an approximately £16.5m ($21.7m) contract for the modification and upgrade of the Ingenium II production barge in November 2018.

The scope of work included the installation of a power generation module, electrical switch room, living quarters, a pedestal crane, electrical transformers, and a produced water processing package.

Fugro was contracted to perform a marine geotechnical investigation to enable the Apsara oil field development in January 2020. Furgo’s drillship Fugro Mariner was deployed at the field to conduct a geotechnical survey including shallow gas pilot-hole drilling, geotechnical sample boreholes, and cone penetration tests.

Shearwater Geoservices performed a 3D seismic survey encompassing 1,200km2 in the Cambodia Block A in June-July 2019. The survey was carried out by the SW Vespucci vessel.

PTSC Geos and Subsea Services, a subsidiary of PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation (PTSC), conducted a geophysical survey at the proposed location of minimum facilities wellhead platform and production barge in November 2019. A geophysical survey vessel PTSC Researcher was used for this purpose.