Myanmar pays off for Woodside

Woodside Energy has made a gas discovery offshore Myanmar giving hope to the string of majors who entered the country following its emergence from sanction driven isolation. 

Woodside made the discovery on the Shwe Yee Htun-1 exploration well in Block A-6 in the Rakhine Basin, in the western offshore area of Myanmar. 

The firm says the well, spudded on 27 November, intersected a gross gas column of approximately 129m, with about 15m of net pay. 

The announcement comes as work continues on new offshore 3D seismic acquisition in the country, led by Woodside and BG Group, using the Ramform Titan and Ramform Sovereign vessels.

“Further analysis will be undertaken to understand the full potential of the play, but this de-risks a number of leads which will now be matured,” he said. “This discovery is an encouraging outcome for future exploration and appraisal activity in the area.”

Woodside, Total, and BG Group are among the major companies that moved into Myanmar following its emergence from sanction driven isolation. The government awarded 20 offshore blocks to 13 international and nine local companies in 2013. The signing of production sharing contracts ended this in 2015.

Among the international oil companies were Ophir Energy, Chevron subsidiary Unocal Myanmar Offshore, Shell, Woodside, PTTEP International, Petronas, Canadian Foresight Group and Eni.

“For a lot of the global players that rushed into the space, this confirms it is prospective and worth chasing,” said Adrian Prendergast, an analyst at Morgans Financial Ltd. in Melbourne. “But there’s still a long a way to go,” reported Bloomberg. 

Woodside has a 40% interest in A-6, and is joint operator with MPRL E&P (20% interest). Total E&P Myanmar holds a 40%, non-operated interest.

In total, Woodside has interests in six blocks in the Rakhine Basin, covering 46,000sq km and representing 20% of Woodside’s global exploration acreage.

According to the US Energy Information Agency (EIA): "Burma (Myanmar) is an important natural gas producer within Southeast Asia, though its upstream hydrocarbons sector is underdeveloped. Sanctions, a lack of technical capacity, opaque regulatory policy, and insufficient investment by foreign firms have significantly impeded the country's efforts to realize its oil and gas production potential. However, many US and European Union sanctions were eased or suspended in 2012 in response to political and economic reforms in Burma."

Read more

BG Group, Woodside start Myanmar seismic

Myanmar announces offshore winners

Image: The 2013 offshore round blocks. From Deloitte.

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