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More natural gas found offshore Myanmar

Discovery comes as the country formerly known as Burma moves ahead with political transformation.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Woodside Petroleum making progress with gas acreage off the western coast of Myanmar, starting early as the country moves through political transformation. File photo by James Jones Jr./Shutterstock
Woodside Petroleum making progress with gas acreage off the western coast of Myanmar, starting early as the country moves through political transformation. File photo by James Jones Jr./Shutterstock

PERTH, Australia, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- With a strong portfolio in Myanmar, Australian energy company Woodside Petroleum said it was gaining traction after making its second gas discovery.

Woodside ran through 200 net feet of natural gas while drilling in the deepwaters about 60 miles off the western coast of Myanmar, confirming a discovery in the Bay of Bengal. It's the second since a January discovery was made by Woodside on the opposite end of the Rakhine basin offshore Myanmar.

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Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said finding more gas is encouraging given the company's footprint in the region.

"These discoveries provide evidence of the high quality of offshore Myanmar as an exploration focus area," he said in a statement.

The discovery comes as Myanmar, known formerly as Burma, move through a political transition that started with general elections in 2010 that curbed the authority of the ruling military regime. Aung Sun Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient and leader of the National League for Democracy, emerged victorious in 2015 elections and is considered as a potential president.

Sanctions pressures on Myanmar eased after 2010 elections, giving foreign investors more opportunities in the once-isolated country.

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Woodside is the largest stakeholder in the western Rakhine basin with six blocks covering more than 11,000 acres.

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