India grabs energy acreage in Myanmar

Oct. 15, 2013 at 8:40 AM
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NEW DELHI, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- India's state-run energy explorer said it was awarded the rights to two onshore reserve areas in an auction held by the government of Myanmar.

Indian state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. said it was awarded access to two areas encompassing a combined more than 7,000 square miles in central Myanmar. Bidding took place in January.

ONGC gave no indication of the reserve estimate for the two onshore areas. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said crude oil production in Myanmar is "minimal" though increasing. It produced 420 billion cubic feet of natural gas in 2011, the last year for which EIA data is available for Myanmar.

Myanmar is working to build up its oil and natural gas sector with the help of foreign investors that may be drawn to an economy free of sanctions. International sanctions pressure on Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has eased in response to democratic reforms.

ONGC in a statement Monday said Myanmar was one of its focal points. It's been present in the country for more than a decade. Total investment for ONGC in Myanmar as of September was $565 million.

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