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Burma: Sinopec JV announces Burma gas discovery

14 Feb 2011

A Sinopec International Petroleum (SIPC) joint venture has discovered gas deposits in northwest Burma with a capacity of 2.1 million cubic feet per day, official Myanmar media reported on Monday.

The international trading arm of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec), made the find in the Mahutaung Region about 835 km (520 miles) northwest of the country's biggest city, Yangon, the official Kyemon Daily reported on Monday. A total of six test wells were drilled in onshore Block D by SIPC Myanmar Petroleum Co, a joint venture between state-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise and Sinopec, which has been exploring oil and gas in Burma since 2004. The report said there were plans to conduct tests on three more wells in Block D.

The find follows the company's discovery in January of proven reserves of 909 billion cubic feet of gas and 7.16 million barrels of condensate in central Burma. Burma has been exploring oil and gas in 49 onshore sites and 26 offshore blocks in Rakhine, Tanintharyi and Mon states after entering joint ventures with foreign companies since 1988. The country's proven gas reserves doubled in the past decade to 570 billion cubic metres, equivalent to almost a fifth of Australia's, according to the BP Statistical Review. Revenues from those reserves are tightly held among the ruling military elite whose cronies dominate other businesses.

Neighbours Thailand and China are the biggest investors in Burma's energy sector. Companies from Australia, Britain, Canada, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Russia, South Korea and Vietnam have also reached energy deals with the government. Total foreign direct investment in the oil and gas sector has amounted to $13.5 billion since exploration since 1988, official data shows.

Source: Reuters

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