* Wins one block in Myanmar, in negotiation for another
* Likely to sign production sharing contract in 2-3 weeks
* To hold 78 pct stake in block, balance with local partner
By Prashant Mehra
MUMBAI, Jan 10 London-listed explorer
Jubilant Energy expects to initially invest $70 million
to $80 million on an onshore oil and gas block it was recently
awarded in Myanmar, a senior company official said.
The India-focused energy company is in talks with the
Southeast Asian country to buy stake in another block, and hopes
to finalise a decision in a few weeks, Chief Financial Officer
Vipul Agarwal told Reuters.
"We had bid for two blocks. They have offered us one, but we
are keen for both. We are still negotiating," he said.
Last week, Myanmar awarded 10 onshore oil and gas blocks in
its biggest energy tender in years.
With Western companies staying away and lukewarm response
from the Chinese, most blocks were awarded to Asian companies,
including Malaysia's Petronas and Thailand's PTT
Exploration and Production.
Myanmar has been moving fast to implement political reforms
and attract investment, but there has been no easing of
sanctions imposed by Western countries for human rights abuses
under the former military regime.
A new civilian government has embarked on political and
economic reform since last year and, if further steps such as
the release of political prisoners are taken, sanctions could be
The country's proven gas reserves at 11.8 trillion cubic
feet at end-2010, according to the BP Statistical review, have
drawn interest from China and India where strong economic growth
is fueling energy demand.
Jubilant won the PSC-1 production sharing block, two sources
with direct knowledge of the deal told Reuters last week.
Agarwal did not give details of the likely reserves in the
block but said it looked to be a predominantly gas field.
Jubilant will hold nearly 78 percent in the block, with the
remainder being held by a local company, he said.
The production sharing contract for the block will likely be
signed in two to three weeks.
The company is part of the New Delhi-based Jubilant Bhartia
group that controls Indian drugmaker Jubilant Life Sciences
, agrochemicals maker Jubilant Industries and
restaurant chain Jubilant FoodWorks.
Jubilant Energy, which listed in London in November 2010,
currently holds a portfolio of nine blocks in India and an
exploration block in Australia.