Myanmar awards exploration blocks

Myanmar’s energy minister has announced winners for 20 of the 30 offshore blocks that have been available since its auction launch in April 2013.

Among the companies receiving acreage are US majors Chevron Corp. and ConcocoPhillips; Norway’s Statoil; and the UK’s BG Group. Shell Oil Co. and Total SA are also among the winners.

Myanmar’s Ministry of Energy and state-owned Myanma Oil & Gas Enterprise (MOGE) have been successful in heightening interest in oil and gas exploration in the country following recent political reforms. Announced in February 2013, ITE Group PLC showcased the country’s resources at a February conference earlier this year (OGJ Online, Oct. 14, 2013).

Myanmar resources are estimated at 50 million bbl of oil and 283.3 billion cu m of natural gas, and the country has seen very limited exploration.

Myanmar’s energy ministry said in statement that 68 companies originally expressed interest in the auction with 30 firms eventually submitting proposals. The ministry’s announcement has awarded 10 shallow-water blocks and 10 deepwater blocks. It is unclear when the remaining 10 blocks will be awarded.

The shallow-water blocks were awarded as follows:

• A-4 to BG Asia Pacific and Woodside Energy (Myanmar).

• A-5 to Chevron (Unocal Myanmar Offshore Co. Ltd.).

• A-7 to BG Asia Pacific and Woodside Energy (Myanmar).

• M-4 to Oil India Ltd., Mercator Petroleum Ltd., and Oilmax Energy.

• M-7 to ROC Oil and Tap Oil.

• M-8 to Berlanga Holding.

• M-15 to Transcontinental Group.

• M-17 to Reliance Industries.

• M-18 to Reliance Industries.

• YEB to Oil India, Mercator Petroleum Ltd., and Oilmax Energy.

The deepwater blocks were awarded as follows:

• AD-2 to BG Asia Pacific and Woodside Energy (Myanmar).

• AD-3 to Ophir Energy PLC.

• AD-5 to BG Asia Pacific and Woodside Energy (Myanmar).

• AD-9 to Shell Myanmar Energy and MOECO.

• AD-10 to Statoil and ConocoPhillips.

• AD-11 to Shell Myanmar Energy and MOECO.

• MD-2 to Eni Myanmar.

• MD-4 to Eni Myanmar.

• MD-5 to Shell Myanmar Energy and MOECO.

• YWB to Total E&P Myanmar.

The ministry has reported that its current leases will garner signature bonuses of $226.1 million once exploration begins on the 20 blocks.

In a press release related to its award, Statoil confirmed that its Block AD-10, which held jointly with ConocoPhillips, covers more than 9,000 sq km and lies 200 km offshore in 2,000 m of water. Each partner holds a 50% equity share, and Statoil will act as operator.

The company has committed to environmental and social impact studies and the acquisition of 2D seismic during the 2-5 year study period. Once this phase is completed, the partnership will decide whether or not to enter the 3-year exploration period.

BG Group has reported it will operate its two shallow-water blocks, A4 and AD-2. The company holds 45% and 55% equity in the blocks, respectively. For Block A-7 and deepwater block AD-5, the company holds nonoperating equity of 45% in each.

Both are in the Rakhine basin in the western offshore area of Myanmar.

BG Group and its partners have committed to 3D seismic programs for each block, and it expects to begin this work in 2014-15, the firm said.

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