Shwe Project Basics

The Shwe Project

In August 2000, Daewoo International signed a production sharing contract with the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Burmese military government.[ 1]

In early 2004, Daewoo announced that they had struck a “world class commercial scale gas deposit” in the A-1 block. A month later, Daewoo acquired the neighbouring A-3 block and since then a series of well have proven reserves large enough to develop.

The blocks were evaluated by a US firm, which determined the available reserves at 5.4 – 9.1 trillion cubic feet (tfc). Daewoo International has since stated that “4.5 – 7.7 tfc of gas may be commercialized from the reserves.”(4)

Using the estimated sales price of US$ 4.41 per million BTU, the sale of 9.1 tfc would be worth US$ 40.1 billion, estimated by the Shwe Gas Movement. Out of this amount, Burma’s military regime would stand to gain US$ 24 billion over the 20-year contract, or US$ 1.2 billion per year. With the regime’s defense expenditures of over 40% of its national budget, the result is clear and devastating for the people of Burma.

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Corporate stake holders in the Shwe fields:

Particular Block A-1 and A-3
Daewoo International, South Korea 51%
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, ONGC Videsh, India 17.5%
Myanman Oil and Gas Enterprise, Burma 15%
Korean Gas Corporation, KOGAS, South Korea 8.5%
Gas Authority of India Limited, GAIL, India 8.5%


Corporations deal with The Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) which is 100% owned and run by the military regime. Details of oil and gas contracts in military ruled Burma are well-guarded secrets.

Daewoo International purchased exploration rights through a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with the military MOGE. In addition to the PSC fees, a standard signing bonus will have been donated under the table to relevant generals.

In June 2008, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed an MOU with the Burma regime to purchase the gas and build an 1,800 Km pipeline from Kyauk Phyu in Arakan to Kunming, China. An estimated 990 Km of this pipeline would traverse Burmese soil. CNPC’s subsidary Petro China has gained the distribution rights of the gas in Yunnan province of China.

Related sub-contractors: (more photos in the photos/project folder)

International companies on contracts in the A-1 and A-3 fields:

Serica Energy – Canada/Int.

Owner of the Galaxy Driller, a semi-submersible rig used in the A-1 and A-3 block, since December 2005. “Serica is a publicly traded company listed on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange and in Toronto, Canada on the TSX Venture Exchange with the share symbol ”SQZ”. Stock Watch and presentations are available on the Investor Centre page.”

China Oilfield Services Ltd – China/Int.

Owner of the Nan Hai 2 semisubmersible rig which is stationed at the Mya well in the A-3 Block, originally on a 60 day contract which according to Daewoo is worth US$6 million.

Helicopters NZ – New Zealand

Contracted by the Daewoo consortium to transport senior officials and engineers between the Shwe fields and the main land, Rangoon and Sittwe. Two New Zealand men are piloting the helicopter, living at a hotel in Sittwe.

Swire Pacific Offshore – Singapore/Hong Kong/Int.

The offshore support vessel “Pacific Rover,” is owned by a branch of the Swire Pacific Ltd, under John Swire & Sons (HK) Limited, which is part of the International Swire Group (Organisational chart )

Viking EngineeringSingapore/Sweden

Owners of the survey ship “Emma” which was contracted by Daewoo to operate in the A-1 block in September 2006. Singaporean company owned and managed by Swedes.

Suz Tractebel – Belgium

Hired by Indian GAIL, as a technical consultant to carry out studies for preparing a Detailed Feasibility Repoer (DFR), environment management plan (EMP), a Rapid Risk Analysis (RRA) for the India-Burma gas pipeline project via northeastern Indian states.

Other companies which have operated in the Shwe fields include:

Ryder Scott Co – US

Snamprogetti – Italy

Frontier Drilling A/S – Norway

Atwood Oceanics Inc – Texas, US




[2], Dec 14, 2004

[3], Jan 14, 2004
[4], Aug 23, 2007

Current Drilling Activity:

The Galaxy Driller, another rig operating off the Arakan coast, Western Burma. Both ships are contracted by South Korea’s Daewoo International Corp.

The Nan Hai 2 semi-submersible drill rig used in both A-1 and A-3 blocks. Owned by China Oilfield Services Ltd.

Helicopters NZ at Sittwe Airport