Nay Pyi Taw: In what may affect the energy security plans pursued by India and China in Myanmar, the resource-rich nation has made a precondition of its domestic demand being met before any exports are allowed. This will be incorporated in all future productionsharing contracts Myanmar plans to sign.
“Earlier natural gas was sold to the neighbouring countries as there was no significant domestic demand.Our new policy is that natural resources will be reserved for domestic demand. If there is a surplus, then we will value add and export. The idea is to meet domestic demand first,” U. Htin Aung, Myanmar’s deputy energy minister, said at a press conference on Thursday.
This comes in the backdrop of the Myanmar government receiving 75 expressions of interest for its bids called for 18 onshore blocks for exploration.
Of these it has shortlisted 59 companies for the submission of final bids. Also, the government plans to award another 30 off shore blocks. The country holds 7.8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas. Contracts already signed will not be affected.
“The new rounds that we are offering has a provision that states that production is meant for first meeting the domestic demand. It is part of the agreement. The ones which we have already signed, for them we have to meet our commitments for our reputation,” Htin Aung said. Some of the Indian companies interested in these blocks are state owned ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), Oil India Ltd and private firms such as Jubilant Energy NV and Cairn India Ltd. more…