Bidding for Myanmar Offshore Oil Blocks, Petronas has Edge

About 20 companies dropped out of the final phase of bidding for oil and gas blocks off Myanmar’s coast, a senior energy ministry official said.

While 61 companies were qualified to bid, only about 40 submitted applications by the Nov. 15 deadline, according to the official who declined to name the companies.

“Processing is still going on,” he said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to media.

Myanmar is offering 11 shallow and 19 deep-sea blocks. Those chosen to develop shallow blocks will be required to work with local partners, while foreign companies can develop deep-sea blocks on their own as few local companies have experience in the sector.

Among the 79 companies that bid in the first stage in April were Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Corp, Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobil Corp, France’s Total SA, Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production PLC (PTTEP), and Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional BHD (Petronas).

Petronas, Total and PTTEP have “a considerable edge over newcomers”, because they already have experience and infrastructure in Myanmar, according to an Oct 21 analysis by VDB Loi, a law firm that has advised three “super majors” on investment in oil and gas exploration in Myanmar. more…