We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to browse this site or by choosing to close this message, you give consent for cookies to be used. For more details please read our Cookie Policy.

Shell and MOECO to drill for oil and gas in Myanmar?

Myanmar has been seeking international companies to invest in its oil and gas industry for some time now. The nation has seen success in this area, convincing several firms to undertake work to make use of Myanmar's plentiful natural resources. The latest deal to be announced will see two of the largest names in the industry coming to the country.

The Anglo-Dutch firm Royal Dutch Shell and its Japanese partner, Mitsui Oil Exploration Company (MOECO), have each signed exploration and production sharing contracts with Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise for three deep-sea blocks. AD-9 and AD-11 in the Rakhine Basin and MD-5 in the Thanintharyi Basin will soon be assessed for potential by the firms.

Covering around 21,000 square kilometres, these blocks off the coast of Myanmar are thought to contain some of Myanmar's plentiful oil and gas deposits. It is thought that the country has access to 50 million barrels of oil and 280 billion cubic metres of natural gas in deposits both underground and under the sea.


The advantages of international investment

This deal highlights what Myanmar has to gain from encouraging foreign countries to invest in its oil and gas industry. In the case of Shell and MOECO, the advantage largely comes from the companies' advanced technology.

Shell in particular has access to a number of tools that are cutting-edge, including technology used for acquiring, processing and interpreting seismic and other geophysical data. These will be used to assess the blocks and discover where any oil or gas reserves might be located.

"The three blocks offer an exciting frontier exploration opportunity to apply the advanced deep-water technical capabilities we have built up around the world over the past three decades," said Graeme Smith, vice president of exploration Asia and Australia at Shell.

"I am delighted that we have the opportunity to explore and we look forward to helping meet Myanmar’s aspiration to unlock and develop its energy resources."


Continuation of a trend

This is far from the first time Myanmar has looked overseas for investors in its oil and gas industry. The nation has outlined its plans for the future, and they hinge strongly on international firms and foreign investment. In fact, this featured heavily in Myanmar's national plan for its energy sector.

The nine-point strategy stated that Myanmar would be looking to promote international energy collaboration. The country already receives plenty of investment from foreign firms; approximately 30 per cent of all its oil and gas investment comes from overseas companies, with around $15.2 billion worth of investment as of October 2014.

Plenty of companies have already expressed interest in contributing more money towards taking advantage of Myanmar's oil and gas reserves. In December, for example, both UK-based Ophir and a consortium of Indian companies signed production sharing agreements for three of Myanmar's oil and gas blocks.


The future of Myanmar

This all points to Myanmar becoming more of an oil and gas exporter. While the country has the capability to produce the resources, it is limited in its ability to explore and discover new reserves. This is where international companies come in, as firms like Shell can bring their advanced technology to Myanmar's oil and gas fields.
"Exploration is a pivotal step in the development of Myanmar’s energy sector, an industry that plays a key role in the economic growth of the country,” said U Zay Yar Aung, Myanmar's union minister for the Ministry of Energy. "We look forward to partnering with Shell and MOECO, who will bring international standards and expertise to an expanding offshore industry."

Related Events

Get in Touch

Want news like this in your inbox?