Wed 20 Jun 2012
Filed under: Business / Trade
Myanmar will offer up to 18 onshore oil and gas blocks in a global tender to be launched later this year, opening up a potential flood of new investment to the poverty-stricken nation, a senior government official said on Wednesday.“For 2012, the international bidding round will be launched in the next two to three months with between 16 to 18 blocks available,” said Aung Kyaw Htoo, assistant director of the ministry of energy’s planning department, at an industry conference.
The new tender follows the country’s largest oil and gas offering in August, in which half of the 18 onshore blocks were awarded to foreign companies. The government has signed agreements with all but one of the seven foreign firms involved.
Myanmar’s hopes of attracting more Western interest in the upcoming tender were however dealt a setback last week, when Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi urged nations not to invest in the state energy firm, Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, until it improved its business practices.
Asian companies, especially from China, Thailand and India, have dominated foreign investment in Myanmar’s lucrative oil and gas sector, though Chevron and Total also have operations in the country.