“We are pleased to be able to sign the PSCs to operate the three offshore deep-water blocks with the Government of Myanmar and our partner MOECO,” said Mr Graeme Smith, VP Exploration Asia and Australia at Royal Dutch Shell. “The three blocks offer an exciting frontier exploration opportunity to apply the advanced deep-water technical capabilities we have built up around the world over the past three decades. I am delighted that we have the opportunity to explore and we look forward to helping meet Myanmar’s aspiration to unlock and develop its energy resources.”
Mr Smith shook hands with Energy Minister U Zay Yar Aung at a signing ceremony in Nay Pyi Taw on February 5 that marks Shell’s return to upstream operations in Myanmar, according to a press release issued on the same day.
“Exploration is a pivotal step in the development of Myanmar's energy sector, an industry that plays a key role in the economic growth of the country," said U Zay Yar Aung. "We look forward to partnering with Shell and MOECO, who will bring international standards and expertise to an expanding offshore industry.”
Shell will use leading deep-water exploration technologies including advanced tools for acquiring, processing and interpreting seismic and other geophysical data. This will improve understanding of the potential resources, according to the company, a leader in the field of challenging deep-sea exploration and extraction.
Under the agreements, Shell will assess the potential of deep-water blocks AD-9 and AD-11 in the Rakhine Basin and MD-5 in the Thanintharyi Basin. The three blocks together cover some 21,000 square kilometres. They are located approximately 300 kilometres offshore in water depths ranging from 1,800 to 2,700 metres.
Shell is the operator and has a 90 percent interest in the three contracts with MOECO holding the remaining 10 percent.
Last December, Myanmar signed similar contracts with three Indian companies and a Singapore-based company to explore oil and gas in the Mottama offshore blocks M-4 and M-8, according to media reports.