Myanmar has awarded 20 blocks to international oil companies as part of its Myanmar Offshore Blocks Bidding Round 2013.
The Asian country’s energy ministry awarded ten shallow water blocks and ten deepwater blocks to the following oil majors: Statoil, Eni, Shell, Total, ConocoPhillips, BG Group, and Woodside Energy.
UK’s oil and gas producer BG Group, confirmed the information, revealing that it would operate two blocks, A4 and AD2 (45% and 55% equity respectively). The company also secured non-operated acreage in blocks A7 and AD5 (45% equity in each). These are located in the Rakhine Basin, in the western offshore area of Myanmar and were awarded as part of the government’s 2013 Offshore Bid Round.
BG Group and its bidding partners have committed to a 3D seismic acquisition programme in each block, expected to begin in 2014/15 with options for future drilling.
According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Myanmar is an important natural gas producer within Southeast Asia, though its upstream hydrocarbons sector is underdeveloped. Sanctions, a lack of technical capacity, opaque regulatory policy, and insufficient investment by foreign firms have significantly impeded the country’s efforts to realize its oil and gas production potential. However, many U.S. and European Union sanctions were eased or suspended in 2012 in response to political and economic reforms in Myanmar. The country began reforming its foreign direct investment law and providing greater revenue incentives for international company investments in 2012.