Myanmar inks two joint onshore exploration deals

Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise has signed a contract with Russia's Silver Wave Sputnik Petroleum and Singapore's Silver Wave Energy for the joint exploration of an onshore block in the Ziphyutaung-Nandaw region in northwestern Myanmar.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Mar. 20 -- Myanmar's state-run Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise (MOGE) has signed a contract with Russia's Silver Wave Sputnik Petroleum Pte. Ltd. and Singapore's Silver Wave Energy Pte. Ltd. for the joint exploration of an onshore block in the Ziphyutaung-Nandaw region in northwestern Myanmar, according to Myanmar's official New Light of Myanmar newspaper.

Awarded was Block B2, in the Hukaung Valley of Kachin State. It is one of six inland blocks in the northern and delta regions that Myanmar reserves for foreign companies. The others are Blocks A-1 and B-1, in Kachin State's upper Chindwin River region in Hukaung Valley, and Blocks O, P, and Q, in the Ayeyawady (Irrawaddy) delta region, reported People's Daily Online.

International oil companies from Australia, Britain, Canada, China, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Russia, and Thailand hold investments in Myanmar's oil industry. Companies currently operating onshore are India's Essar Oil Ltd, Focus Energy Ltd., MPRL Exploration & Production Pvt. Ltd., Goldpetrol, China's CNOOC and Sinopec Oil Co., and Chinerry Assets.

The country is estimated to have 3.2 billion bbl of crude oil reserves, official statistics indicate, and proved reserves of 18.012 tcf of gas on and offshore.

The latest awards follow a gas deal earlier in the month with Rimbunan Petrogas Ltd. and Singapore's UNOG Pte. Ltd.

Myanmar has 19 fields onshore and 3 main large offshore oil and gas fields. The country's military rulers have awarded many contracts in the past 2 months for natural gas exploration after major gas discoveries were made in the Gulf of Bengal.

In February, Daewoo International Corp. of South Korea signed with MOGE for the joint exploration, drilling, and production of oil and natural gas on Block AD-7 off Arakan State.

In January, China National Petroleum Corp. International Ltd. and MOGE signed a contract to explore for oil and gas in deep sea Blocks AD-1, AD-6, and AD-8—also off Arakan.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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