YANGON, March 26 International oil majors
including Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil,
ConocoPhillips and Total won rights to
explore for oil and gas off Myanmar, according to the Southeast
Asian country's Ministry of Energy.
Myanmar has awarded 10 shallow-water blocks and 10 deepwater
blocks in an auction process that began in April last year,
according to a posting on the ministry's website on Wednesday.
Winners of deepwater blocks will be able to explore and
operate the blocks on their own, while shallow-water winners
will need to work with a registered local partner, according to
the terms of the production sharing contracts.
Myanmar's oil and gas sector attracts the largest share of
foreign investment, accounting for $13.6 billion, or 40 percent,
of total accumulated foreign investment through September,
according to the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO).
Myanmar exported $3.7 billion worth of gas in the fiscal
year to March 31, 2013, mostly to neighbouring Thailand, up from
$3.5 billion the year before.
The country's proven natural gas reserves totalled 7.8
trillion cubic feet (tcf) at the end of 2012, according to BP's
Statistical Review of World Energy.
A total of 160 local companies have registered with the
Ministry of Energy as potential partners for winners of the
shallow-water blocks, but industry sources say only a few of
them have any oil and gas experience.
Contracts winners will have to complete environmental and
social impact assessments and submit reports to the Investment
Commission before starting operation.
For a table showing the list of winners, see:
(Reporting by Aung Hla Tun; Editing by Tom Hogue)