Oil and gas companies urged to partner with foreign firms

Last week, the Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE) confirmed in a press conference that it would start holding tenders for offshore oil and gas production in Myanmar by the end of the year.“Tender rounds will be floated before the end of 2018,” said Daw Khin Htay, director at state-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).

During the press conference, the MOGE also said that the tender rounds will be open to foreign oil and gas companies. “It will no longer be mandatory to join with local firms. This will instead be made voluntary in the future,” Daw Khin Htay said.

Nevertheless, local oil and gas firms are encouraged to up their game to attract partnerships with foreign firms in carrying out exploration and production (E&P) activities both onshore and offshore, according to an MOEE statement.

This is so local firms

can benefit from foreign E&P technologies and gain access to financing. It will also protect local companies against substantial capital losses.

As such, experienced Myanmar oil and gas firms interested to partner and work with foreigners should register at the Oil and Gas Planning Department under the MOEE. Those that register will be reviewed by the authorities.

Raising the bar

Not every company that registers will receive clearance to seek partnerships with foreign firms. Local companies that want to cooperate with foreign oil companies must be up to standard. The companies must have substantial experience and a track record in the industry, access to financing and modern technology, the MOEE said.

“As every company that registers will have to deal with foreigners, it is best to make sure they are up to standard,” an MOEE official said.

“So far though, no company has registered yet,” said Daw Khin Htay, adding that the companies may be taking time to get prepared. In 2011, 146 Myanmar firms registered at the ministry.

There will be no deadline for registration, allowing local firms the time needed to get prepared. Companies that register next year will be considered for tenders held then.

There are currently 53 onshore blocks and 51 offshore blocks in Myanmar and among them, exploration and production activities are being conducted at 35 onshore and 38 offshore blocks. The government will hold tenders for the free blocks

By The Myanmar Times