Thank you for the opportunity to correct the record regarding the article entitled" Myanmar's Upstream Sector Hobbled By Pipeline Controversy, Poor E&D Results in (OGJ, June 26, 2000, p. 24).
As a former employee of Baker Hughes, I can no longer speak on behalf of Baker Hughes. However, as project manager for the Mann Field Project since inception in 1996, and as the current country manager for Myanmar Petroleum Resources Ltd., I can most certainly say that the subject article is riddled with errors, and largely misrepresents the oil and gas industry in Myanmar, especially with regard to the professionalism and capabilities within the national oil company Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise (MOGE) and the other Myanmar government organizations.
For the official record, I would like to correct a few of the many errors in your article:
- The current holder of the Mann Field Project PCC is Myanmar Petroleum Resources Ltd. (MPRL). There is no such company as "Mynt Associates." MPRL recently accepted the transfer of the PCC contract from Baker Hughes Singapore Pte. Myint & Associates is an active service provider, well known in the oil and gas industry in Myanmar.
- MPRL and Baker Hughes did not team up early this year to sign an additional contract on the same block. The original contract, in it's entirety, was transferred from Baker Hughes to the sole remaining original project investor, MPRL, effective Oct. 1, 1999.
- In my opinion, the timing of payments from MOGE has nothing to do with the results of production-enhancement efforts. MOGE, the Ministry of Energy, and the Ministry of Finance are made up of individuals with high integrity and principles, whereby all parties endeavor in every way possible to make timely payments, but simply were a bit late in meeting the financial obligations, due to difficult economic conditions currently facing Myanmar and the region in general. It should be noted that, at one time, MOGE was late more than 1 year in making payment because of the very limited resources at its disposal. It is faced with increasing demand for oil for the country of Myanmar, and subsequently higher production targets set by the Ministry of Energy, but are provided little or no budget for the materials and spare parts which are required to meet these goals. Yet, despite lack of material and financial resources, it continues to successfully conduct operations, using resourcefulness which should be envied by the wasteful Western world. It should be noted that after demobilizing a foreign rig and drilling equipment, our project team used an MOGE rig and crews to drill a well to 9,500 ft TD, with very little support except for provision of materials.
The well successfully reached the objective at a fraction of the cost (less than half) of previous wells drilled by the Mann Field Project using the latest technology. Simply stated, MOGE has many knowledgable and resourceful personnel, who lack only access to sufficient foreign currency for proper materials, spares, and technology. Our recent project success has proven that optimum use of MOGE's resources in conjunction with minimum provision of materials, will result in a more efficient and cost effective project.
In conclusion, I consider it an honor and a pleasure to work in Myanmar, where old culture values prevail, people are good to their word, handshakes are still honored, and contractual terms are honored to their fullest (sometimes delayed because of the prolific problems which face the country of Myanmar, but always honored). These qualities, which were unmentioned in your article, are difficult to find in today's business world, and separate Myanmar from many other countries throughout the world where contract terms are constantly renegotiated and/or broken to the financial detriment of the investors. Therefore, I feel that the subject article was a disservice to MOGE, the government of Myanmar, the Myanmar citizens, and most of all to your readers, since they deserve a more accurate assessment of the Myanmar business environment.
Therefore, I sincerely hope that your readers will be made aware of the inaccuracy of the subject article, and efforts will be made in the future to ensure that published articles are more credible.
Myanmar Petroleum Resources Ltd.
Mann Field Production Enhancement Project