Aug 1, 2013

Reliance, ONGC, Cairn in race for Myanmar blocks

India's Reliance Industries, ONGC Videsh and Cairn India are vying with global energy giants Shell, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil for 30 offshore oil and gas blocks that Myanmar has put on offer.

In all, 61 companies have been pre-qualified to bid for 11 shallow water and 19 deepwater blocks in an international tender, according to Myanmar's Energy Ministry.

The shortlisted companies from India include RIL, ONGC Videsh (the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp), Oil India Ltd, Cairn India, gas utility GAIL India and Jubilant Offshore Drilling (JODPL).

International oil majors pre-qualified include Shell, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Total of France, Norway's Statoil, Eni of Italy, Spain's Repsol, Anadarko Petroleum of US, Husky Energy, Hess of US, Murphy Oil, Premier Oil of UK, Woodside Energy and Delek Energy.

Asian national oil companies such as China National Petroleum Corp, Korea National Oil Corp, Korea Gas Corp and Japan's JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp have also been shortlisted.

A notice on the ministry's website said the shortlisted firms had been called to view data on the blocks on offer last month. Myanmar is looking at awarding the acreages in February or March next year.

OVL visited the data room on July 15, followed by OIL and Jubilant. Cairn India visited the data room on July 23, while GAIL did so the following day. RIL reviewed data on the blocks on July 25.

Data viewing will continue till August 12, the ministry notice said. According to the tender condition, international firms can submit bids for up to three blocks.

For the shallow water blocks, companies will have to team up with at least one Myanmar-owned company, while for the deepwater blocks, bidders will be expected to invest directly without any local participation, the ministry said.

Myanmar is simultaneously offering 18 blocks in its second onshore licensing round, for which OVL, Cairn, OIL, Jubilant and HPCL-owned Prize Petroleum have been pre-qualified from India.

In all, 59 companies have been shortlisted for the onshore blocks, including PTT Exploration and Production, Petronas, PetroVietnam, Sinopec, Total, Eni, Woodside and Exxon. Myanmar plans to award the onland blocks by December.

OVL and GAIL already have stakes in A-1 and A-3 blocks in Myanmar, which started production last month, and they are looking at consolidating their position in the energy-rich nation.

Source: Business Standard