Myanmar invites foreign firms to explore oil, gas

July 19th, 2012 - 12:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Yangon, July 19 (IANS) Myanmar, which has vast reserves of oil and gas, is inviting foreign firms to explore them in 23 offshore blocks.

US and European companies may accept the offer as most Western sanctions against the country have been lifted, the Mizzima News reported Wednesday.

The areas include 17 deep-water and six shallow-water blocks off Rakhine, Mottama and Tanintharyi in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.

Foreign firms will be required to partner with Myanmar companies, and will get a six-year exploration period followed by a three-year tax holiday upon start of production.

Myanmar has 17 oil fields and five gas fields in production on land. Two offshore gas fields are under development and are due to begin production next year.

The country has reserves of 2 billion barrels of oil and 25 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The parliament was expected to approve a new foreign investment law by July end, which will give foreign companies tax breaks and provide them greater freedom to lease land.

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