Aug 1, 2011

Inland oil and natural gas blocks opened for exploratory bids

Myanmar'sMinistry of Energy has invited companies to bid for exploratory rights for oil and natural gas on 18 inland blocks in Central Myanmar.

Companies are invited to make tender offers no later than August 23. If a company finds a productive field, it must then apply for a permit granted by the ministry to extract oil and natural gas.

“Some companies may give up during the discovery stage if their expectations cannot be met,” a senior official said.

The Ministry of Energy said that to promote the oil and natural gas sector, it was cooperating with companies from Russia, China, India, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea on oil and natural gas projects.

Energy companies explored some of the locations in the 18 inland blocks between 1991 and 1998.

“Some sites were discovered earlier, but the companies are different,” another official from the ministry told Mizzima. In some cases, the offers were not official offers and permits were given secretly, the official said.

There are 47 oil and natural gas production blocks in inland Myanmar. China, which is extracting oil and gas in 23 of the 47 inland blocks, is the largest investor; Malaysia is the second largest investor.

There is only one Myanmar oil company, Myanmar Petroleum Resources Limited, owned by Michael Moe Myint who is the chairman of the Rangoon Yachting Club. The Htoo Company owned by Tay Za and Nay Aung, who is the son of former Industry No. 1 Minister Aung Thaung, are shareholders in foreign oil and gas companies, according to sources close to the Ministry of Energy.

Currently, Myanmar’s inland blocks are producing more than 9,300 crude oil barrels a day and more than 100 million cubic feet of natural gas a day. Meanwhile, the Yadana and Yetagun offshore natural gas blocks are producing more than 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day.

According to statements by the Ministry of Energy, there are a total of 0.46 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the inland area in Myanmar and 17 trillion cubic feet in offshore blocks.

Source: Mizzima