22 Oct 2008

Palau call to ascertain oil and gas deposits

4:39 pm on 22 October 2008

A presidential candidate in Palau, Johnson Toribiong, says it's time to determine conclusively whether the country is able to develop its oil and natural gas fields.

Pacific Magazine reports Mr Toribiong as saying the money is available to explore the country's northern territory for oil and natural gas.

And, he says, if the deposits justify it, Palau should oversee the exploitation of those resources.

There has been discussion for more than 20 years about developing the fields.

Mr Toribiong said if Palau can develop oil and natural gas resources, the revenue would help wean it off its historic dependence on US assistance.