Apr 24, 2011

Energy Minister Than Htay: "Myanmar will cooperate with foreign companies for oil and gas exploration"

Myanmar's state oil firm will sign contracts with companies from China, Singapore and South Korea for oil and gas exploration, the state-owned New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported yesterday.

In a "special projects implementation meeting" headed by President Thein Sein on Friday in the capital Naypyitaw, Energy Minister Than Htay said that Myanmar will cooperate with foreign companies for oil and gas exploration.

The newspaper said Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise will sign contracts with China's North Petro-Chem Corporation Ltd for onshore oil and gas exploration.

It will also sign agreements with Korea-Myanmar Development Co. Ltd and Brilliant Oil Corporation Pte Ltd of Singapore for oil and gas exploration offshore in northwestern Rakhine state and the Tanintharyi region in southeastern Myanmar.

In addition, agreements will be signed with Singapore's SNOG Pte. Ltd and UPR Pte. Ltd for the mining of shale in eastern Karen state, the report said.

The report did not say when the contracts would be signed or when work on any of the projects would start.

Myanmar has huge gas reserves and is conducting oil and gas exploration with local and foreign companies in 49 onshore blocks and 26 offshore blocks. Natural gas is Myanmar's largest export earner.

Myanmar exports natural gas from its two major offshore gas fields in the Gulf of Martaban, with neighboring Thailand being the primary market. China National Petroleum Corp. is building a 771-kilometer (481 mile) pipeline from northwestern Rakhine state to China's Yunnan province.

The exploration contracts will be among to be the first major ones signed with foreign enterprises under the new civilian government.

Source: AP