Big oil, regional giants win contracts in Myanmar

The announcement of winners of rights to offshore oil and natural gas blocks followed months of anticipation as isolated Myanmar opened its doors to the global energy industry.

Western “super-majors” and key regional energy companies fared well March 26 as Myanmar announced the winners of 20 untapped offshore oil and natural gas blocks.

Still, sources here on the ground note that companies still have to negotiate official contracts with the government – meaning this story is far from over.

The announcement followed months of anticipation as the long-isolated country opened its doors to the global energy industry. Now that US and European sanctions are easing or gone completely, a host of new companies will be entering. They include Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell, which won the rights to three deep-water blocks, and US-based ConocoPhillips, which partnered with Norway-based Statoil to win a deep-water block. UK-based BG Group, Australia’s Woodside, India-based Reliance Group, and Oil India Ltd. were all big winners. 

Also in the mix were France’s Total and US-based Chevron, companies that already have a foothold in Myanmar’s oil and gas industry and stayed through years of sanctions.

Plenty of concerns remain about transparency.... For the rest of the story, continue reading at our new business publication Monitor Global Outlook.

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