International oil companies Statoil and ConocoPhilips have been awarded contracts for oil and gas exploration at a deepwater offshore block off Myanmar’s west coast, according to local media reports. Kyemon Daily, a Myanmar language state-run paper, reported that the two companies have agreed to invest US$ 323 million for exploration at AD10 block, off Rakhine.

Under the contracts, production sharing agreements will last eight years and an environmental impact study will need to be conducted first, the report said. The two companies have entered Myanmar’s market through regional subsidiaries that are registered in Singapore. According to figures released by the Myanmar Investment Commission, Myanmar attracted foreign direct investment of US$ 8 billion in the last fiscal year, more than a third of which came from the energy sector.