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Myanmar Targets Jump In Oil Output To 50,000 B/d In 2010

By Sherry Su,Edited by Sharon Vong
From !!!News Agency's Name!!!
link to this article.

MANILA -(Dow Jones)- Myanmar's state-owned Myanma Oil & Gas Enterprise plans to sharply increase its oil output from domestic onshore areas to 50,000 barrels a day in 2010, according to a report by a senior company official that will be delivered at a conference Wednesday.
According to MOGE Managing Director U San Lwin's country report, the company's oil output in August was 10,000 b/d.
He is scheduled to deliver his speech at 0830 GMT at the 8th Asean Council of Petroleum, or Ascope, conference held in Manila.
The conference, which opened Wednesday and is held once in four years, brings together national oil companies from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations bloc.
MOGE's oil output from offshore areas was 13,000 b/d in August, according to San Lwin's report.
"To meet the national demand of 50,000 b/d in five years (and) in order to achieve country's self sufficiency in oil and gas, MOGE is planning to increase its exploration activities in onshore areas," the report says.
These steps include extending new exploration acreages, the upgrading of production infrastructure and the exploration of deeper oil reservoirs.


Total Settles Forced Labor Suit in Myanmar

From !!!News Agency's Name!!!
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
link to this article.

Total and the French Sherpa Association, an organization that
defends human rights worldwide and which represents eight
Myanmar nationals who had started legal proceedings for
arbitrary sequestration, have reached an agreement to put a
definitive end to the legal proceedings initiated in 2002 at
the Nanterre District Court.
The eight plaintiffs claimed that they had been forced by the
Myanmar Army to work on the Yadana gas pipeline construction
project and that their work could be classified as forced
Total upholds its categorical denial of any involvement in
forced labor and all accusations of this nature. Forced labor
in any form is unacceptable. The Group has always fought
against forced labor, unfortunately not yet eradicated from
Further to this agreement and for humanitarian reasons, Total
has agreed to compensate the plaintiffs. Total is to extend
the compensation paid in the past to certain inhabitants of
the region when reports of forced labor that were alleged to
have taken place were brought to its attention.
Under the terms of this agreement, Total has decided to create
a 5.2 million Euro solidarity fund. The major part of the
money will be used to finance collective humanitarian measures
locally, benefiting housing, health and education. It is
further designed to compensate the plaintiffs and any other
person who can demonstrate that they suffered a similar
experience in the area near the Yadana pipeline during
construction work. All measures financed will be implemented
under the supervision of international humanitarian
organisations selected with the full agreement of all the
Ma๎tre William Bourdon, President of the Sherpa Association
emphasized that "this agreement constitutes an innovative,
pragmatic and generous solution and is a way of resolving
difficulties over conditions sometimes experienced by
industrial groups operating in certain developing countries".
He added "in addition to the compensation paid to the
plaintiffs for events of which the Total Group claims it was
totally unaware, this agreement enables us to bring concrete
solutions to the difficult situations experienced by some of
this country's nationals. This exemplary agreement sets a
precedent which could be used to resolve similar future
Jean-Fran็ois Lassalle, Total E&P Vice President Public
Affairs added; "this pragmatic action taken by the Sherpa
association has led to an appropriate solution. This means
that the personal situations of some individuals unknown to
the organisation have now been resolved and that new
collective measures can be introduced to complement the
socio-economic program already established by Total for the
people living in the vicinity of the Yadana pipeline."


Chinese Oil and Gas Firm Signs Burma Deal with Daewoo

From Irrawaddy News, Thailand
November 25, 2005
link to this article.

China Oilfield Services-an oil and gas exploratory company-has announced it will provide offshore drilling services to Daewoo's Burma operations as part of a US $6 million deal. Announcing the deal to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange yesterday, the company said it would conduct drilling over sixty days, although it did not specify when it will begin or where exactly operations will take place. South Korea-based Daewoo has oil concessions off the west coast of Arakan State in the Gulf of Martaban. China Oilfield Services is 65 percent owned by China National Offshore Oil Corp, the third largest oil and gas company in China.


GAIL ties up with Belgian firm for LNG technology

From The Peninsula
Thursday, November 24, 2005
link to this article.

With an eye on sourcing Myanmar gas, state-owned gas utility GAIL (India) signed an agreement with a Belgian firm for jointly pursuing projects utilising the latter’s on-board LNG regasification technology.
“Exmar’s on-board LNG regasification technology would enable import of LNG. We would also be able to utilise Exmar’s logistic expertise for jointly pursuing transportation of CNG by ship,� GAIL Chairman and Managing Director Prashanto Banerjee.

Banerjee signed the agreement with Nicolas Saverys, CEO of Exmar Marine, in the presence of Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar.
Describing the agreement as exceptionally important for India, Aiyar said it could be very critical in meeting the country’s gas import requirement.

“This technology could be an option worth examining for gas imports from Myanmar either at Paradip (Orissa) or at Haldia (West Bengal) ports and also for tying up with LNG/gas sources in different parts of the world to meet needs of the Dabhol Power Project,� Aiyar said.
“It may give a fillip to the GAIL’s proposed pipeline gas grid from the standpoint of demand centres rather than from the point of supply sources,� Aiyar added.


COSL Signs Drilling Contracts in Myanmar and Australia

From !!!News Agency's Name!!!
Thursday, November 24, 2005
link to this article.

China Oilfield Services Limited has secured two drilling contracts respectively at Myanmar and Australia regions. Parties entered into the contracts with COSL are Daewoo International Corporation and Woodside Energy Ltd. The company's semisubs Nanhai II and Nanhai VI won the bid and will commence their drilling services respectively in the respective seas.

COSL's Nanhai II will be towed to a specific drilling location of Daewoo International Corporation in Myanmar. The contract period Related Products

Economics of Worldwide Petroleum Production, 2nd Edition

Value at Risk and Current Trends in Capital Allocation

lasts 60 days and operational water depth is about 150 meters. The total contract amount is approximately US$6 million. The service contract with Woodside Energy Ltd of Australia will commence in around April next year. By that time, COSL's Nanhai VI will be towed to serve in the relevant sea areas in Australia. The contract is one-year long and the contract amount is approximately US$40 million. Upon expiry, the contract may be renewed for 1 year subject to mutual agreement of both parties.

Mr. Yuan Guangyu, CEO and President of COSL, stated, "Amidst the saturated market condition for domestic oilfield services industry, we are delighted to achieve another breakthrough in overseas markets. International expansion strategy has always been one of the four strategies embraced by the Company upon listing. We are pleased to witness the securing of new contracts for drilling, well services and geophysical services in overseas markets, such as Indonesia, North America, the Middle East, Philippines and Vietnam. As our market share continued to increase, the Company is gaining higher degree of client recognition. Looking forward, COSL will continue to consolidate its leading position in China offshore oilfield services industry and more confident of tapping into overseas markets to attain more impressive results."


Bangladesh left out of Indo-Burma pipeline deal

Madhumita Bhattacharya
From Mizzima News, India
November 21, 2005
link to this article.

Bangladesh is to be left out of the proposed US $1 billion India-Burma gas pipeline project according to Indian officials.

Top officials in the Indian petroleum ministry told Mizzima a high level meeting was scheduled later this month to finalise a route for the gas pipeline from Burma directly to India's eastern states.

"The Bangladesh route is as good as shelved," a top petroleum ministry official said. "We will now consider the route through northeast India and try to work out work schedules."

Gas Authority of India Limited chairman Proshanto Banerji said the line would instead pass through India's north-east border with Burma.

India's preferred route is reportedly from Sittwe to Buthidaung in Chin State across the border to Chhimtuipui, Mizoram and then to Assam. Gas would then be transferred to a proposed national grid in northern Bengal.

According to estimates the project will cost India $290 million, which could rise to $300 million if the project is delayed.

Mahmudur Rahman, adviser to Bangladesh's energy minister, said officials in Dhaka had no objections to the change in plans. The country had asked for major trade concessions in return for allowing gas to be piped across its territory

"In commercial negotiations, every party will try to get maximum benefit and there is no harm in it," Mr Rahman said.

Bangladesh could have earned as much as $125 million a year in transit fees and other service charges from the pipeline.

The Burmese, Indian and Bangladeshi governments agreed in principle to co-operate on the gas pipeline and exploration project in January this year but Bangladesh failed to agree to any proposed terms.

Indian Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar visited Bangladesh in September to try to finalise the deal and while he was not available for comment today, it seems his office too has given up on Bangladeshi involvement.

The new pipeline will have to be 40 percent longer than the 850km Bangladesh route and will cost considerably more.

"But it will generate a lot of economic activity in the northeast and that's good for the region," said Assam's leading economist Jayant Madhab Goswami.

But the northeastern route would go through insurgency-affected areas, though the recent peace talks with the United Liberation Front of Assam have generated hopes of peace in the area along the route.

Apart from Bangladesh's procrastinating on the project, increases in Islamic insurgency in the country prompted security concerns for a pipeline through their territory.

Burma is keen for the project to be finalised and Burmese energy minister, Lun Thi, told Indian officials during a recent meeting in Delhi the pressure was on India because China and Thailand also wanted gas from Arakan State.


RAW cautions Indian government on tri-nation gas

From Narinjara News
link to this article.

The Indian External Intelligence Agency's Research and
Analysis Wing (RAW) has issued a warning to the Indian
Government, saying it would be "a serious mistake" to
allow a proposed tri-nation gas pipeline to pass through
Bangladesh, according to recent report by a Bangladesh
news agency.
The report refers to the cautious stance given by RAW in
the current issue of a New Delhi-based newsmagazine,
Petrowatch reported that RAW is "growing increasingly
Tired" of Oil Minister Mani Shanker Aiyar's insistence
on the Bangladesh route of the pipeline.
The proposed pipeline is to be 950km long and is to
transport natural gas from western Burma, through
Bangladesh, and on to India.
But plans for the tri-nation gas pipeline are yet to be
finalized, with the Bangladesh government pushing its
Indian counterparts on three conditions before allowing
the deal to go through.
The three conditions are as follows: allowing Bangladesh
to import electricity from the two landlocked Himalayan
kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan through Indian territory:
allowing Bangladesh to export goods to Nepal and Bhutan
through Indian territory; and reducing trade imbalances
between Bangladesh and India.


Myanmar rows back on ILO withdrawal threat

From The Independent, Bangladesh
November 19, 2005
link to this article.

Myanmar has rowed back on its threat to withdraw from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which accuses the junta running the former Burma of refusing to stamp out widespread use of forced labour.

"Let me assure you here that we are committed to being a part of the international community and will therefore continue to be a member of the ILO," its ambassador to the Geneva-based labour group told its governing body.

However, in the same speech-a transcript of which was obtained by Reuters on Friday-Myanmar accused the ILO of lacking good faith and being a political tool of Yangon's many international critics.

"I wish to state that what we need in our relations with the ILO is encouragement and support, and not condemnation and confrontation," he said.

The ILO, which recently allowed its individual members to launch their own sanctions against Myanmar, said it wanted to see concrete action on eradicating forced labour, not just words, before the next meeting of its governing body in March 2006.

"Next March, we'll see the results of this newly expressed committment and whether they've actually stopped throwing people in prison for complaining about forced labour and started throwing people in prison for imposing it," an ILO spokesman said.

The ILO, whose members include 178 governments, unions and employer groups, revealed last month its representative in Yangon had received 21 death threats in August and September, shortly after junta- sponsored rallies against the organisation.


India to appoint legal, technical consultants for pipeline project

From New Delhi
Nov 19, 2005
link to this article.

India-Iran-Gs pipeline
Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas Secretary S C Tripathi on Thursday said that New Delhi has already appointed financial consultants for the Iran, Pakistan and India (IPI) gas pipeline and is in the process of finalizing the appointment of legal and technical consultants for the project.
Tripathi, while addressing the session on petroleum and natural gas during the Economic Editors Conference 2005 here, said, “I have myself piloted the discussions on two occasions on the Iran-Pakistan- India gas pipeline proposal, the dialogue on which has started after the Government gave its approval for pursuing such projects in February 2005.�
The Pakistani side has informed that they will also shortly be appointing their financial consultants in the conference organized by the Press Information Bureau and the Ministry of Finance, he said.
New Delhi has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for natural gas imports from Iran, Myanmar and Central Asian countries through onland, trans-pipelines.
In pursuance of the Government decision in February 2005, Minister (P&NG) Mani Shankar Aiyar led a delegation to Pakistan in June 2005, he said, adding that a Joint Working Group (JWG) at the secretary level was thereafter set up to report on the progress on the project to ministers in order to facilitate definitive decisions by them.
Furthermore, with further studies and discussions in regard to relevant issues having been undertaken so that the project could take off early next year, it was agreed to establish a special JWG on the gas pipeline.
Two meetings of the JWG and one meeting of the special JWG have been held since, he said, adding that during the second JWG meeting the Pakistani side informed that they will also shortly be appointing their financial consultants.
In June 2005, in a related development, a sales purchase agreement (SPA) for the importation of 5 MMTPAs of LNG from Iran was signed between GAIL/IOC/BPCL and the National Iranian Gas Export Co Ltd (NIGEC) and imports are likely to start from 4th Quarter of 2009, he said.


India Offered Stake in Burmese Oil Block

From Irrawaddy News, Thailand
Thursday, November 17, 2005
link to this article.

Burma's ruling State Peace and Development Council has offered India further oil and gas concessions in an onshore block near the countries' shared border. Minister of Energy Lun Thi is reported to have brokered the deal during a recent trip to Delhi, which will lead to further exploration of Burma's 14 oil- and gas-bearing sedimentary onshore basins. Only three are reported to have been explored so far, a situation Rangoon hopes to rectify by encouraging further foreign involvement in its oil and gas sectors. India has steadily increased its interest this year, most notably in trying to negotiate terms with Rangoon over the proposed Shwe gas pipeline from Sittwe in Arakan State to Calcutta in the east of the subcontinent. Talks, however, have stalled because of a standoff between India and Bangladesh_through which the pipeline had been proposed to pass over Dhaka's insistence that its trade deficit be reduced and a development corridor be established cutting through Indian territory to Bhutan and Nepal


Myanmar pipeline back on course as Delhi relents on sops for B'desh

Anupama Airy
From The Financial Express, India
November 10, 2005
link to this article.

The much delayed Myanmar-Bangladesh-India gas pipeline project would soon become a reality with New Delhi open to taking a more liberal view on the three issues raised by Bangladesh for signing the trilateral agreement on the gas pipeline project.

A senior government official told FE that on the issue of improving the trade imbalance between the two countries, the ministry of commerce has agreed in principle to provide increased market access to Bangladesh as a least developed country (LDC) under the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (Safta) and the Bangkok agreement. As there is no bilateral FTA/preferential trade agreement (PTA) on which the trade between India and Bangladesh, is based.

Petroleum minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, soon after his visit to Myanmar in the first week of October, had written to his counterpart in the commerce ministry on taking a liberal view on the trade issues raised by Bangladesh.

On the other two issues, a joint press statement is likely to be arrived at between India and Bangladesh on the sidelines of the forthcoming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit in Dhaka.

The press statement proposed by the ministry of external affairs reads, "The foreign secretaries agreed that these issues would be pursued bilaterally, with appropriate initiatives, within mutually agreed framework, in the context of growing regional co-operation." The ministry has underlined the fact that "this would be a press statement and not an agreement".

The two issues are: transmission of hydro-electricity from Nepal and Bhutan to Bangladesh through Indian territory and on providing a corridor for supply of commodities between Nepal and Bhutan and Bangladesh through the Indian territory.

Five countries, China, India, Bangladesh, Korea and Sri Lanka, are members of the Bangkok agreement and so far three rounds of trade negotiations have taken place under this agreement in 1975, 1988 and July 2004. In the last round various concessions were extended to Bangladesh which will take effect from January 2006.

Safta meetings take place every six weeks or so. A number of concessions have already been extended to Bangladesh under Safta.


ONGC Videsh Strikes it Rich in Vietnam

From Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Thursday, November 10, 2005
link to this article.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s overseas investment arm, ONGC Videsh, has bagged an offshore exploration block in Vietnam with an estimated 1 billion barrels of in-place oil. This is ONGC Videsh’s third major success there and proves wrong the oil ministry’s recent criticism that it cannot strike international deals without government crutch.

Well as Bolck 127 it won in September. The company is the operator in five blocks in four countries. Both the Vietnam blocks are in the Phu Khahn basin, off the central coast, and are close to Lan Do and Lan Tay fields discovered by the company -- then known as Hydrocarbons India Ltd -- in 1992 and 1993, respectively.

ONGC Videsh is chasing a target of sourcing 20 million tonnes of oil/ gas a year from overseas assets by 2020 and expects to achieve this goal by 2011-12, or even earlier. The company is spreading its acquisitions across producing, discovered/semi-discovered and exploration fields so that money from producing fields can be pumped into acquisitions which keep coming into production successively and all resources are not tied down.

In March, the company bagged two major oil/gas fields in Egypt and Qatar amid fierce international competition. Last month, it bought 30 percent stake from Spain’s Repsol in a lucrative field in Cuba. Before that, it won blocks in Libya and Syria through global competition. All these were purely commercial ventures and not as part of government-to-government deals.


GAIL signs deal with Belgium's EXMAR

From Sify, India
November 10, 2005
link to this article.

GAIL (India) Ltd has signed agreement with EXMAR Marine NV, Belgium for jointly pursing liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) import projects in India.

The two will co-operate in projects using EXMAR's on-board LNG re-gasification technology for import of LNG and to use the Belgium-based company's logistic expertise for transportation of CNG through ship.

Proshanto Banerjee, Chairman and Managing Director, GAIL, said under the agreement the two companies would evaluate the merits including the technical, operational and commercial aspects of conventional LNG transportation versus LNGRV (liquefied natural gas regasification vessel) for the transportation and re-gasification of LNG and transportation of CNG that can be implemented to serve the LNG/CNG imports.

EXMAR has developed a new application LNGRV for the transportation and re-gassification of LNG, consisting of a standard LNG carrier that, while retaining the ability to transport as a conventional vessel, has been modified to regassify LNG and discharge it in various modes.

The two companies will co-operate on specific LNG or CNG import projects for India and share each other's expertise with respect to gas/LNG/CNG procurement, distribution, transportation and storage re-gassification to jointly develop one more LNG/CNG import project in India, he said.

The two companies will also establish a joint steering committee, which will co-ordinate the activities of the parties, Banerjee said.

He also said GAIL, EXMAR along with Enersea might forge an alliance to bring gas from Myanmar. Banjeree did not rule out the possibility of creating a joint venture company between GAIL and EXMAR in the event the two deciding to proceed with a project.

Meanwhile, GAIL is commissioning a feasibility study for the application of LNGRV at Hazira in Gujarat, Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, and Kerawalapitiya in Sri Lanka. Speaking at the occasion, the Petroleum Minister, Mani Shankar Aiyar, underlined three important aspects of this understanding to bring in gas from Myanmar, meet the need for gas to commission the Dabhol project, and help solve the problems of the power producers of Andhra Pradesh and peninsular India.

The Minister also hinted that this tie-up gave GAIL the flexibility to set up the GAIL gas grid that could become a national gas grid.

The agreement was inked by Proshanto Banerjee, Chairman and Managing Director, GAIL, and Nicolas Saverys, CEO EXMAR, in the presence of Aiyar, and Patrick De Beyter, Belgium Ambassador to India.


Burma's foreign business partners list published

From Scoop
November 9, 2005
link to this article.

As the International Labour Organisation (ILO) prepares to hold a crucial debate for Burma's continued membership of this UN agency, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) today released an updated list of foreign companies doing business with Burma, bringing the total number to 474. Beside long-standing business partners of the junta such as Total (France) and more recent ones, such as Daewoo (Korea), the ICFTU's updated inventory lists 38 "newcomers", including Sanyo and Polyphon.

Amidst conflicting signals from the military junta about the country's possible withdrawal from the ILO, the agency's Governing Body will next week discuss the latest Burma report from ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. The document details last-ditch negotiations between senior ILO officials and junta members, as well as a full-scale propaganda campaign launched against the ILO last July, alongside a series of written death-threats against the organisation's representative in Burma's capital, Rangoon.

The junta's hostility towards the ILO stems from a renewed call by its annual Conference, last June, for all ILO Members to step-up their review of relations with Burma, imposed in 2000 after the organisation concluded that the junta was systematically imposing forced labour on its civilian population.

In a report backed up by 1600 pages of evidence and submitted to the ILO last September, the ICFTU concluded that the army was continuing to resort to forced labour on a massive scale in infrastructure building, agriculture, forestry and services for the military, including forced portering of equipment for the army in combat zones as well as "human minesweeping". The latter describes a practice under which civilians, often clad in army uniforms, are forced to carry ammunition and other loads, marching at the head of army columns in order to draw fire from ethnic insurgent groups and detonate landmines planted by either side to the internal armed conflict, which has raged in this Southeast Asian country for decades. (The ICFTU September 2005 report to the ILO

Commenting on the junta's threat to withdraw from the ILO, the ICFTU General Secretary, Guy Ryder, said in Brussels today such a move would constitute a "rare and exceptional step". "Burma's military would be well-advised to carefully weigh the consequences of its actions", he added. He said threatening an ILO official and holding mass-rallies against the ILO's presence in the country was "unprecedented and exceptionally serious". Recalling that the government would in any case have to wait out a two-year "cooling-off period", Ryder stated that "in the meantime, the door should remain open to Burma's military regime to resume cooperation with the ILO and demonstrate it is serious about desisting from forced labour".

Last January, the ICFTU had released a detailed study which proved it was impossible to do business in or with Burma without directly supporting its military junta. The document also explained how the government spent its revenue, with 40% of the national budget going to the military, against a mere 0.3% spent on health care.

Since then, the ICFTU has found fresh evidence of 38 more companies doing business with Burma. These firms are based in the United States (6 companies), China (5), India and Thailand (4 each), Japan, Malaysia and Singapore (3 each), Germany (2), and one each in Bangladesh, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Korea, Qatar, Turkey and the United Kingdom. While many of these companies are relatively small, others are prominent in their field, like Japan's Sanyo electronics producer and Germany's Polyphon, a leading film and television production company. As for South Korea's industrial giant Daewoo, it recently announced it had completed exploration drilling off the coast of Burma's Arakan State. Gas production, scheduled to start in 2010, is expected to bring the company net annual profits of up to 100 million USD over a 20 years' period. Last month, ICFTU affiliates in Korea held public protests in front of Daewoo's Seoul headquarters, demanding the company pull out of Burma.

Recalling that his organisation had recently backed international efforts to place Burma on the agenda of the UN Security Council, Ryder said "Burma's withdrawal from the ILO, if confirmed, would only strengthen the ICFTU's resolve to hold its government accountable for its horrendous record on workers' and other human rights"'. "Our determination to convince multinational companies to disinvest from Burma and to bring its government to task at the Security Council fits squarely in that strategy", he concluded.

The ICFTU stresses that its list represents only the "top of the iceberg". Before putting a company on its "Burma companies database", the ICFTU - together with its partner organisations, the Global Union Federations and the OECD's Trade Union Advisory Council (TUAC) - engages in a detailed research and consultation process which includes an exchange of correspondence with the company in question. Details of this correspondence, as well as the updated list itself - may be found on the ICFTU's website, at:


GAIL to dig Down Under for gas

From !!!News Agency's Name!!!
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
link to this article.

NEW DELHI, NOV 8: Domestic gas major GAIL (India) Ltd has decided to selectively develop a portfolio of global exploration and production (E&P) acreages. After Myanmar, where it has a 10% participating interest (PI) in two offshore blocks (A1 and A3), GAIL has decided to pursue E&P opportunities in Indonesia, Australia and Sri Lanka.
Firming up its investment plans for Australia, the GAIL board on October 27 paved the way for the company to team up with an Australian oil and gas exploration company, Oilex, and submit joint bids for two exploration blocks in Western Australia. In addition, GAIL is also negotiating for picking up stakes in Oilex’s existing acreages in Australia, where it is the operator in nine blocks.

Oilex too is targeting India’s energy sector and is keen to participate in the bidding rounds for gas blocks here. It is also in talks for a 30% farm-in opportunity in a Cambay basin block, awarded to Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) under the earlier NELP round.

The two blocks in Australia for which bids GAIL has submitted joint bids with Oilex as operator are WO5-16 (Exmouth Plateau/ Barrow Sub Basin in Northern Carnavron Basin) and WO5-3 (Northern Browse Basin).

• Five exploration & production blocks in India with GSPC
• One block put on production with in-place reserves of 31 million barrels
• 10% participating interest in A1 & A3 blocks in Myanmar
• Bid for 2 blocks in Australia, eyes other markets like Indonesia & Sri Lanka

GSPC and Prize Petroleum (a joint venture between HPCL, ICICI Bank and HDFC) have also agreed to pick up 25% participating interest in the two blocks. Australia has put 15 offshore exploration blocks on offer in the first round of auction.

GAIL has already signed a confidentiality agreement with Oilex for a 25% participating interest in the two blocks. The initial financial implication cleared by GAIL’s board has been estimated between Rs 60 crore and Rs 136 crore. “The industry has also rated the first round as superior,� GAIL informed its board. GAIL has informed its board that a separate MoU would soon be signed with Prize Petroleum for jointly pursuing overseas E&P opportunities.

Oilex is a small public listed Australian oil and gas exploration company with net asset of Australian $10.76 million and with participating interest in 17 onland and offshore blocks in Australia. It had its first oil discovery in Surat Basin in Australia in 2005.



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