RANGOON — Britain’s BG Group and Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd. will invest up to US$1.08 billion to explore for oil and gas in four blocks off the coast of Burma’s western Arakan State, a senior Energy Ministry official said on Sunday.
The two firms were the winners of two shallow water blocks and two deep-water blocks in the country’s auction last year.
“Operations at the shallow blocks will take $545.5 million at the minimum, while that at deep-sea blocks will cost $535.1 million at the minimum,” said the official, who declined to be identified, as he is not an authorized spokesman.
The two companies on Friday signed production-sharing contracts with the Energy Ministry in Burma’s capital Naypyidaw, he said, adding that observation and exploration work at the blocks will take another seven or eight years.
Burma’s oil and gas sector attracted $2.6 billion, or about 40 percent of foreign investment of $6.6 billion during the nine months to December, the website of the country’s Central Statistical Organization shows.
Burma’s proven natural gas reserves totaled 10 trillion cubic feet (tcf) at the end of 2013, according to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy. Neighboring Thailand imports about a fifth of its natural gas supplies from Burma.