Published On: Thu, Jan 24th, 2013

Daewoo in talks with Myanmar on oil, gas

The Myanmar unit of South Korean conglomerate Daewoo, Myanmar Daewoo Ltd, is in discussions with the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration to increase its investment in the country, DICA said.

It said Daewoo was seeking to increase its investment in offshore oil and gas exploration but did not provide a figure, though it said the company was eyeing areas off Rakhine state.

The Korean giant has a substantial stake in Myanmar’s oil and gas industry through a gas project in the western offshore area, Block AD-7. It sold a 40-per-cent stake to Woodside Petroleum, Australia’s second-largest oil and gas producer, last October.

Daewoo and Woodside are preparing to undertake a three-dimensional seismic acquisition programme in the Rakhine Basin during the fiscal year beginning in April. This will be followed by exploration drilling if they obtain government approval.

Daewoo is also involved in the controversial Shwe Gas Project, which will see oil and gas from A1 offshore block – which is adjacent to lock AD-7 – sent to China via pipeline. Dual 800-kilometre pipelines are being built from Rakhine state to the border with China’s Yunnan province. The project has sparked alarm about its social, economic and environmental impacts.

Woodside also has a 50-per-cent stake in Myanmar Petroleum Resource’s exploration and production of offshore block A-6.

The nearly 10,000-square-kilometre block is about 250km south of the Shwe Gas Field. Woodside bought the stake last month. Seismic surveys to explore for natural gas and oil will begin this year.

US energy firms, including Conoco Phillips and ExxonMobil Corp, have this year shown interest in Myanmar’s oil and gas industry.

The oil and gas industry is the second biggest for foreign investment, drawing 34 per cent of the total. However, it continues to draw criticism for its lack of transparency and accountability. The government has formed an authority to improve management of the extractive industry as a whole, but critics are calling for precise and concrete steps to ensure greater transparency.

Eleven Media Group

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