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India-Singapore Group to Explore for Gas Offshore Myanmar

by Michael last modified 2006-12-12 06:44

Indian and Singaporean companies will explore oil and natural gas in offshore area of Myanmar's western Rakhine state, the official newspaper New Light of Myanmar reported Friday.


According to a production sharing contract signed in the new capital of Nay Pyi Taw on Wednesday between Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL), Silver Wave Energy of Singapore and state-run Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), the consortium

will conduct oil and gas exploration and production at Block A-7 in the Rakhine offshore area.

There has been natural gas deposits found earlier at Block A-1 (Shwe field and the Shwephyu field) and Block A-3 (Mya field) in the same offshore area in January 2004 and April 2005, respectively, explored by another consortium of oil companies led by South Korea's Daewoo International Corporation with a 60-percent stake. Other companies include South Korea Gas Corporation (10 percent), ONGC Videsh Ltd of India (20 percent) and GAIL (10 percent).

The Shwe field holds a gas reserve of 4 to 6 trillion cubic feet (TCF) or 113.2 to 170 billion cubic meters (BCM), while the Shwephyu 5 TCF and Mya 2 TCF with the three fields estimated to yield up to 14 TCF of gas, experts said.

Myanmar is planning to sell gas produced from the three gas fields to neighboring countries such as India and China through pipelines.

According to earlier official report, another Indian company, the Essar Oil Ltd, has also reached a contract with Myanmar to undertake gas exploration activities at Block A-2 in the same Rakhine offshore area and Block-L in the coastal region of Sittway.

Recent years have seen foreign oil companies increase engagement in oil and gas exploration in Myanmar. Thailand's PTTEP, for example, has covered a number of blocks such as M-3, M-4, M-7, M-9 and M-11 under contracts, while another consortium made up of Chinese and Singaporean companies is also engaged in oil and gas exploration in some onshore and offshore areas.

Myanmar has abundance of natural gas resources in the offshore areas. With three main large offshore oil and gas fields and 19 onshore ones, Myanmar has proven recoverable reserve of 18.012 TCF or 510 BCM out of 89.722 TCF or 2.54 TCM's estimated reserve of offshore and onshore gas, experts said.

The country is also estimated to have 3.2 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil reserve, official statistics indicate.

The Myanmar figures also show that in the fiscal year 2005-06 which ended in March, the country produced 7.962 million barrels of crude oil and 11.45 BCM of gas. Gas export during the year went to 9.138 BCM, earning over 1 billion US dollars.

More statistics reveal that since Myanmar opened to foreign investment in late 1988, such investment in the oil and gas sector had reached 2.635 billion dollars as of March this year, dominating the country's foreign investment sectorally.

Foreign oil companies engaged in the oil and gas sector mainly include those from Australia, Britain, Canada, China, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Russia and Thailand.

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