Successful bidders for oil and gas contracts will start exploration in late 2015 or early 2016, according to a conference on the potential of the oil and gas sector held at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Yangon.
Dr Aung Kyaw Htoo, managing director of Dare Co Ltd, said: “Myanmar has big natural gas production projects, namely Yadana, Yetagon, Shwe and Zawtika. Domestic companies are investing in these projects. The government gave the green light for 16 onshore blocks and 20 offshore blocks during the last financial year. Oil and gas exploration will start in late 2015 and early 2016.
“Myanmar companies have many opportunities beyond 2015. It is heartening to see the involvement of big oil companies like Shell and Chevron in the projects. There will be many job opportunities in the country,” he added.
Oil and gas companies from France, Indonesia, China, India, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong have invested in onshore projects while firms from Korea, France, Malaysia, China, India, Thailand and Vietnam are involved in the offshore blocks.
Kyaw Kyaw Hlaing, chairman of Smart Group of Companies, said: “Many foreign companies have won the tender for oil blocks under the current government. Many oil companies like Shell and Chevron have signed contracts for oil and gas exploration. These companies will start exploration in late 2015 and continue for three or four years.”
Myanmar started exporting natural gas from the Shwe gas project off the Rakhine coast in 2014.
It produces around 400 million cubic feet of gas per day with 17 million used in domestic consumption and 379 million exported to China.
Around 900 million cubic feet of gas comes from Yadana natural gas project per day with 711 million exported to Thailand and 119 million used in Myanmar.
Yadana’s natural gas project was discovered in 1982 and the exploration started in 1988.