The Cambodian Institute of Technology (ITC) - locally known as "Techno" - got a major boost recently in the capital city of Phnom Penh when another donation of textbooks was finalized by the AAPG Publications Pipeline Committee.
The donation, which totaled more than 1,360 kilograms of books, shows the excellent cooperation between AAPG and the ITC, according to AAPG Member Chea Samneang, a lecturer in the Department of Geo-Resources and Geotechnical Engineering at ITC, as well as the faculty adviser for the AAPG-ITC student chapter.
Michael McWalter, treasurer for AAPG's Asia Pacific Regional Council, took part in the recent handover ceremony at the school, which is the only university in the Southeast Asian country to offer students the opportunity to study mining and petroleum.
The textbooks are "very helpful to strengthen the reading and educational capacity in both academic and research to students and lecturers" who are studying in the fields of geology, petroleum geology and engineering, mineralogy and more, Samneang said. The school hopes to receive additional textbooks in the future from AAPG.
The ITC established the AAPG-ITC Student Chapter in 2013, Samneang noted, and the Department of Geo-Resources and Geotechnical Engineering is one of seven departments at ITC that focuses on mining, petroleum and the geotechnical fields.
"So the basic concepts of geology and petroleum geology are very important for students and lecturers within this department for their research and future career," he added.
The Department of Geo-Resources and Geotechnical Engineering was founded in 2011, Samneang said, and the department must focus on maintaining enough materials, learning space and high-quality staff to teach students, so the textbook donation is very important and useful in the department's mission.
Cambodia, a country of 15 million people wedged between Thailand, Vietnam and Laos and often known for its brutal genocidal regime known as the Khmer Rouge, is a net importer of oil and gas resources.
But, Samneang said, the Cambodian government has given approval for several international oil and gas companies to begin exploration in the hydrocarbon sedimentary basins covering the country in both offshore and onshore areas.
Samneang said the most potential is the area known as Block A. The Cambodian government is planning to develop and produce oil and gas in the next few years to support growing national demand, he said.
KrisEnergy holds a 55 percent interest in Block A and is close to reaching a deal with the government to extract oil from it, according to the Phnom Penh Post, an English-language daily newspaper.
KrisEnergy provided the transport of the books from Houston to Phnom Penh. Representatives from the Singapore-based company were also on hand at the handover ceremony.
In 2013 (the most recent year for which data is available) Cambodia consumed 28,000 barrels of oil per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That was down slightly from the year before, when the country consumed 28,900 barrels per day on average.