Natural gas deposits have been found at the Mya field in block area A-3 in western Myanmar's Rakhine offshore area, said a report of the official newspaper New Light of Myanmar Monday.
Successful drilling of the Mya test well No. 1 at the block in the offshore area was carried out with gas burning on Sunday. It was estimated that the Mya field contains 2 trillion cubic-feet ( TCF) or 56.63 billion cubic-meters (BCM) of gas being explored by a consortium of foreign oil companies, led by South Korea's Daewoo International Corporation.
Myanmar is planning to sell gas produced from the Mya field along with two other fields -- Shwe and Shwephyu in block A-1 to neighboring countries such as India and China through pipelines, the report said.
The exploration on the block A-3 was conducted under an agreement reached in February 2004 between the Myanmar Ministry of Energy and the consortium, in which Daewoo holds a 60-percent stake, while South Korea Gas Corporation 10 percent, ONGC Videsh Ltd of India 20 percent and Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) 10 percent.
Adjacent to the block A-3, which has an area of 6,780-square- kilometer (sq-km), there lies block A-1 where two deposits of natural gas, known as the Shwe field and the Shwephyu field, had already been found by the same consortium in January 2004 and April 2005 respectively.
The Shwe field holds a gas reserve of 4 to 6 TCF or 113.2 to 170 BCM, while the Shwephyu 5 TCF or 141.5 BCM. And the whole block A-1 is estimated to yield up to 14 TCF or 396.2 BCM of gas.
Meanwhile, Indian company the Essar Oil Ltd has also reached a contract with Myanmar to undertake gas exploration activities at Block A-2 in the same Rakhine offshore area and Block-L in the coastal region of Sittway.
Moreover, three more available blocks off Myanmar's southern Tanintharyi coast are also under natural gas exploration with test wells being planned for drilling by Malaysia's Petronas Company covering blocks M-16, M-17 and M-18 with areas of ranging from about 13,000 sq-km to 14,000 sq-km.
Recent years have seen foreign oil companies increase engagement in oil and gas exploration in Myanmar. Thailand's PTTEP, for example, has covered a number of blocks such as M-3, M-4, M-7, M-9 and M-11 under contracts, while another consortium made up of Chinese and Singaporean companies are also engaged in oil and gas exploration in some onshore and offshore areas.
With three large offshore and 19 onshore oil and gas fields, Myanmar possesses a total of 87 trillion cubic-feet (TCF) or 2.46 trillion cubic-meters (TCM) of gas reserve and 3.2 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil reserve, official statistics show.
The figures also indicate that in the fiscal year of 2004-05, Myanmar produced 7.48 million barrels of crude oil and 10.69 billion cubic meters (BCM) of gas. Gas export during the year went to 9.5 BCM, earning over 1 billion U.S. dollars.
Since Myanmar opened to foreign investment in late 1988, such investment in the oil and gas sector had reached 2.61 billion dollars as of the end of 2005, dominating the country's foreign investment.
Foreign oil companies engaged in the oil and gas sector mainly include those from Australia, Britain, Canada, China, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Malaysia and Thailand.