No Plans For Myanmar’s Oil, Gas: Pertamina
Tito Summa Siahaan
While the latest offering from the government of Myanmar to develop 18 oil and gas exploration blocks in the country may attract Western oil companies, Indonesia’s state energy firm Pertamina stated that it has no plans to bid for exploration.
“We are not interested in exploration of the block,” Afdal Bahaudin, Pertamina’s director of investment planning and risk management, said on Friday.
Pertamina has repeatedly said that oil and gas blocks already in the production stage would be at the center of its expansion strategy as the firm aims not only to generate profit but improve Indonesia’s energy security.
Pertamina has been aggressively increasing its presence overseas, having signed a $1.75 billion agreement to acquire local units of ConocoPhillips in Algeria and a $725 million deal for assets in oil-rich Venezuela, among others.
Agence France-Presse reported on Thursday, citing Myanmar’s state-run newspaper, that a notice was published for the exploration of 18 oil and gas blocks in deals that would see firms partner with state energy companies, including the controversial Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise.
The tender would be the first since 2011 where firms will be able to bid for up to three blocks each, according to the notice.
Foreign investors have been eagerly eyeing resource-rich Myanmar since Western sanctions began to be dismantled in response to reforms by a quasi-civilian government that took power in 2011, ending decades of junta rule.
Research firm IHS Global Insight has put Myanmar among the world’s top five potential oil and gas exploration and production hotspots.
Proven oil reserves stand at 3.2 billion barrels according to the Burmese government.