First PSCs for offshore coming soon

The first of the long-delayed offshore production sharing contracts could be signed as early as next week, according to government officials.

Discussions over the contracts, which are necessary before exploration and production can begin, have been ongoing since March.

In March the government awarded 20 international companies preliminary rights to explore and produce at the blocks.

An official from state-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise told The Myanmar Times last week that the first signings are likely in the first week of December. “We are planning to sign four blocks, but only two shallow water and one deepwater blocks are sure to be inked,” he said.

The Ministry of Energy had begun its first offshore bidding round in April 2013. A total of 75 firms showed interest in Myanmar’s offshore contracts, though only 18 companies won rights to 10 shallow-water and 10 deepwater blocks.

The awarded companies include BG; Woodside Energy; Chevron; a consortium of Oil India, Mercator Petroleum and Oilmax; ROC Oil; Berlanga Holding; Transcontinental Group; Reliance Industries; Ophir Energy; Shell and partners MOECO, Statoil and ConocoPhillips; Eni; and Total.

The official declined to name the companies that would ink production sharing contracts in the first week of December.

After signing the agreements, the companies must complete environmental and social impact assessments, meaning they are likely to be unable to begin exploration until next October brings a window of opportunity.

“They might be starting exploration after the monsoon ends,” said an official from the Energy Planning Department.


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