YANGON, (Reuters) – Myanmar’s government plans to explore oil and gas in three new areas with companies from China, Singapore and South Korea, state media reported on Saturday.
State-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas will sign contracts with North Petro-Chem Corporation Limited of China for exploration and production of oil and gas in Inland Block F in Ngahlinetwin region, state media quoted Energy Minister Than Htay as saying in the capital Naypyitaw on Friday.
It will also sign deals with SNOG Pte Ltd and UPR Pte Ltd of Singapore to mine shale in the Mepale region and with South Korea’s Myanmar Development Co Ltd and Singapore’s Brilliant Oil Corp Pte Ltd for exploration and production in Rakhine offshore blocks A-5 and A-7 and Taninthayi blocks M-15 and M16.
State media did not provide further details.
Myanmar’s proven gas reserves have doubled in the past decade to 570 billion cubic metres, equivalent to almost a fifth of Australia’s, according to the BP Statistical Review.
While that is mostly off limits to Western companies due to sanctions imposed in response to human rights abuses, China, Thailand, India and Singapore are big investors.
Myanmar has been exploring oil and gas in 49 onshore sites and 26 offshore blocks in Rakhine, Tanintharyi and Mon states since entering joint ventures with foreign companies in 1988.
Energy-hungry China is buying gas from two of the country’s biggest offshore fields and aims to import it into China through a pipeline which is under construction. China is expected to become the biggest buyer of Myanmar’s gas when the pipeline is finished in 2013.