Published on Monday, 21 January 2013 14:04
The local unit of South Korean conglomerate Daewoo, Myanmar Daewoo Ltd., is in discussions with the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration to increase its investment here, DICA said.
It said Daewoo was seeking to increase its investment in offshore oil and gas exploration but did not provide a figure, though it said the company was eyeing areas off Rakhine State.
The Korean giant has a substantial stake in the country’s oil and gas industry through a gas project in the western offshore area, Block AD-7. It sold a 40 percent stake to Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Australia’s second-largest oil and gas producer last October.
Daewoo and Woodside are preparing to undertake a 3D seismic acquisition program in the Rakhine Basin during the fiscal year beginning in April. This will be followed by exploration drilling if they obtain government approval.
Daewoo is also involved in the controversial Shwe Gas Project, which will see oil and gas from A1 offshore block – which is adjacent to block AD-7 – sent to China via pipeline. Dual 800-kilometer pipelines are being built from Rakhine State to the border with China at its Yunnan province. The project has sparked alarm about its social, economic and environmental impacts.
Woodside also has a 50 percent stake in Myanmar Petroleum Resource Ltd’s exploration and production of A-6 offshore block A-6. The nearly 10,000 square kilometer block is about 250kms south of the Shwe Gas Field. Woodside bought the stake last month. Seismic surveys to explore for natural gas and oil will begin this year.
US energy firms, including Conoco Phillips and Exxon Mobil Corp, have this year shown interest in the country’s oil and gas industry.
The oil and gas industry is the second biggest for foreign investment, drawing 34 percent of the total. The industry, however, continues to draw criticism for its lack transparency and accountability.
The government has formed an authority to improve management of the extractive industry as a whole, but critics are calling for precise and concrete steps to ensure greater transparency.
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