Next round of oil and gas tenders to be held after review

Myanmar will review and revise some of the existing terms and conditions to its oil and gas contracts which pose difficulties to investors before calling for its next round of oil block tenders, one senior official from the Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE) told The Myanmar Times.

“More important than calling for tenders is revising the existing terms and conditions to our contracts to be in-line with international standards so that it is a win-win situation for the government and investors alike,” he said.

As oil exploration is capital-intensive and risky business, Myanmar should help to make investing decisions easier for oil companies by reviewing the relevant investment criteria and removing terms and conditions that make it difficult to invest in the country, the official said.

“We must review the obstacles for oil and gas investors and revise them to make things simpler. We will negotiate and revise contractual obligations and review the legal framework to be more aligned with international practices and current oil prices,” he said.

“After gathering data at the unexplored areas, we will conduct new bidding rounds for the blocks which are suitable for further drilling,” he added.

As many rounds of revisions and extensive preparations are expected, the exact time for the next round of tenders is unknown at this point. “We will seek views and comments from the relevant ministries such as the Ministry of Planning and Finance for tax incentives. If taxes are overly high, it will become a burden. We also need to consider the environment,” he said.

Recommendation and feedback from international firms will also be requested and considered For example, investors have voiced dissatisfaction with regards to paying what they view as excessive crop compensation for the use of farm land to conduct exploratory drilling.
“We have many challenges. So we will open the next round of bidding after we have sorted these issues out,” the official said.

Source : Myanmar Times

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