Third gas discovery declared off the coast of Myanmar

Easing sanctions pressures mean the country is opening up and Australia's Woodside Petroleum says it has an early start.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Aug. 7, 2017 at 8:02 AM
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Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Australian energy company Woodside Petroleum said it was reviewing its options after finding natural gas during an exploration campaign offshore Myanmar.

The company said it made its third natural gas discovery since early 2016 at the Southern Rakine basin off the coast of Myanmar. Dubbed Pyi Thit-1, the company said it's another success story for an underdeveloped part of the world.

"This result builds on our understanding of the potential resources in the Southern Rakhine Basin and will further inform our consideration of development options," he said in a statement.

Woodside last year increased its best estimate of the contingent reserve potential offshore Myanmar by 83 million barrels of oil equivalent following the technical evaluation of two exploration wells drilled in the area.

Sanctions pressures on Myanmar eased after 2010 elections, giving foreign investors more opportunities in the once-isolated country. Htin Kyaw, a close confidant of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, was sworn in last year year as the first civilian president of the country since 1962. In his inaugural address, he said the much-needed reforms would address many of Myanmar's long-term desires.

Global energy companies have shown a greater interest in Myanmar since military rule ended in the country with general elections in 2010. In 2015, Unocal Myanmar Offshore Co., a subsidiary of Chevron, signed a production sharing contract with its counterparts in Myanmar to explore for oil and gas in the Rakhine basin off the northwest coast of Myanmar.

With sanctions pressure easing, Myanmar leader and long-time reform figure, Suu Kyi, said the country "is in a position to open up to those who are interested in taking part in our economic enterprises."

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