MIC gives nod to last foreign oil firms

The last international oil companies that must still sign Production Sharing Contracts with Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise have now received permission from Myanmar Investment Commission, a statement said yesterday.

International oil firms have been signing the Production Sharing Contracts – which govern exploration and production activities – since December, following a bidding round for offshore blocks held last year.

The approval from Myanmar Investment Commission means seven international firms are likely to soon sign their Production Sharing Contracts. So far, 13 contracts have been signed.

The latest companies to receive approval include Australia’s ROC Oil, Tap Oil and Transcontinental Group, Reliance Industries from India, Eni from Netherlands, Petrovietnam and Canadian Foresight Group, said the March 25 announcement.

International companies working offshore or in shallow water must partner with local companies. These local firms include Smart E&P International, Century Bright Gold, United National Resources Development Services.

ROC and Tap Oil were awarded for shallow water block M-7, Transcontinental and Canadian Foresight jointly won M-15, Reliance Industries was awarded two shallow water blocks M-17 and M-18, and Eni is partnering with Petrovietnam in MD-2 and MD-4.

There are also government connections between the Ministry of Energy and Myanmar Investment Commission – Minister Zayar Aung is also chair of the investment commission.

Supermajors Total and Chevron are among the companies that have already signed their Production Sharing Contracts.

American company Chevron’s subsidiary Unocal was the latest firm to sign a contract, inking the deal for block A-5 on March 24 in Nay Pyi Taw.

“We are pleased to have reached this milestone,” said Scott Neal, president of Unocal Myanmar Offshore Company, in a press release. “This agreement expands our partnership with MOGE and Myanmar. We have a 20-year history in Myanmar and we look forward to supporting the continued development of the nation’s energy sector through our exploration program.”


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