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Monday, December 22, 2014

Foreign companies interested in Myanmar offshore oil exploration

Foreign companies interested in Myanmar offshore oil exploration

Myanmar has offered 18 onshore oil and natural gas exploration blocks to foreign energy companies, but many are more interested in the country's offshore developments, Dow Jones reported.
These offshore blocks are expected to be more lucrative, the source stated, and western oil producers will continue to wait until the Myanmar government offers offshore leases to bid for exploration rights in the country.
"My sense is that the big players will probably skip this one and wait for the offshore blocks to come on offer," said Richard Nelson, a Singapore-based partner of a law firm who advises large international oil companies on Myanmar, according to the article. "We have clients who are keen to get more detail on the deep-water offshore blocks. That's where the big interest is."
The Agence France Presse said the onshore leases that are available in Myanmar represent a third of all blocks available in the country. A company will be able to bid for up to three blocks at a time. The source reported Myanmar is among the top five potential oil and gas exploration and production sites in the world.
More information on oil and gas exploration in Myanmar is available at PennEnergy's research area.

Off Seashore Work Permitted Eight Myanmar Companies
From : Myanmar Times News Journal
Apr 03, 2014

In Myanmar Offshore Sites, there were already eight Myanmar Companies being selected to do Oil and Natural Gas Exploration and Exploitation said the news.

                Selected International Co. List which Ten Offshore Shallow water Sites and ten Offshore Deep Sea Sites were released by the Ministry of Energy last week, Myanmar Companies that may participate in co-work was not notified yet.

                “In last Tender Phase has to be co-stated Myanmar Co. go-to-work joint with Foreign Co., so that Company Pairs to co-work which to what permitted they were as it was proposed in document,” said U Pe Zin Htun, Director General from the Department of Energy Planning in the Offshore Tender Notification Ceremony.
                For 20 Offshore Worksites, there were Operator-allocated International Companies 13 numbers; 10 in Shallow water Work Sites and 8 in some Deep Sea Work Sites were permitted to co-work said Myanmar Oil and Natural Gas Enterprise MOGE.
                For Shallow water Work Sites such as A-4 and A-7 and Deep Sea Work Sites such as AD-2 and AD- 5, British-based BG Asia Pacific and Australia-based Woodside Oil Companies were chosen.
                As Joint Co. Myanmar Top Oil Boss Michael Moe Myint’s Myanmar Petroleum E & P (MPEP) got permission to do joint whose portion of Myanmar Co. got permit the most Work Site to do.
                US-based Chevron (Unocal Myanmar) Co. was selected for Offshore Shallow water Site A-5 and it selected pair Myanmar Co. was Royal Marine Engineering.
                Shallow water Work Sites such as A-4, A-5 and A-7 were worked by Foreign Companies but they were handed over back to MOGE due to many reasons, and it was participated again in the First Offshore Tender Call.
                For Offshore Shallow water SitesM-4 and YEB, the selected one was India Government-owned Oil India Co. and Domestic Service Provider to be paired was Oil Star Co.
                For other Shallow water Sites M-7, M-8 and M-15, Australia-based ROC Oil, Transcontinental Group (TRG),and Netherlands-based Berlanga Co. were selected, and the selected paired Co. Myanmar were U Kyaw Kyaw Hlaing’s Smart E & P, U Aung Kyaw Win’s Lin Win Co., and Construction Businessman U Nyan Win’s A U Nyan Win,1 Co.
                “Get the Work Chance Myanmar is so good but it may be a little investment; still not having Technology in Myanmar yet. To deal good with the Government, such Diplomacy show was input,” explained Energy Consultant U Khin Maung Cho.
                India Energy Co. Reliance was selected for M-17 and M-18 and Joint Co. would be U Tin Myint’s Myanmar Co. entitled United National Resources Development Services.
                Parami, the Domestic Energy Co. would have the chance to work joint with Ophir Co. which was enlisted in London Stock Exchange for Deep Sea Work Site AD-3 which got the chance of be participated in Only Foreign Co. Permitted Deep Sea Work Sites.
                “Experts estimated Investment size may become potential up to US $ 60 billion when Offshore Work Site Start Time, that is, 100 % of GDP. The questionnaire may be how much Myanmar Co. could take place in the market.”
                “It is the best time for Myanmar Companies to do joint for Development with International Companies including MOGE Myanmar,” said U Pyi Wa Htun, Chief Executive from Parami Energy Co.
                The new Policy as “International Companies would work joint with one Myanmar Co. at least for Inland and Offshore Shallow water Work Sites” was prescribed by Ministry of Energy MOE last year that nowadays there are up to 162 Myanmar Energy Co. registered in the Department of Energy Planning.

Burma’s Frontier Appeal Lures Shadowy Oil Firms

While the major non-American Western oil companies adopt and wait-and-see policy and US firms remain barred by Washington’s sanctions, shadowy oil enterprises are gaining footholds in Burma 
Among firms which have recently won licenses to explore for oil and gas are little-known businesses based in Panama, Nigeria and Azerbaijan—countries where corporate accountability can be murky.
Not only does the bidding process remain opaque, the pedigree of some of the participants is too.
CIS Nobel Oil Company claims to be London based, but on investigation its only contact address is in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, a former republic of the Soviet Union on the Caspian Sea.

A map showing oil and gas blocks in Burma. (Source: Burma's Ministry of Energy)
Nobel is to prospect for oil and gas on an unnamed onshore block awarded by the Burmese Ministry of Energy. Virtually nothing is known about Nobel other than that it does some prospecting in the Caspian Sea and has links with Azerbaijan’s state oil company.
Nobel and a clutch of other little known firms bid for licenses when the ministry put forward 18 onshore blocks for development last year.
A firm registered in the Central American country of Panama called Geopetrol International Holdings secured a license for another block which it will operate with Burmese partner A-1 Mining Company.
Panama is notorious for providing so-called flags of convenience for murky shipping companies which do not comply with international safety standards and regulations.
Burma’s Energy Ministry has also awarded a license to a firm called Tianjin New Highland, which appears to be Chinese but has links in the unstable African state of Nigeria, noted for its “black gold curse”—the political and business corruption around its oil wealth which has left millions of Nigerians in poverty.
Tianjin New Highland appears to have begun life in Hong Kong but is registered in the money laundering tax haven of the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. It also operates under the name Tianjin Energy Resources.
“These are by no means mainstream oil businesses and the ownership of some of them is rather lost in the web of addresses and registrations,” said an industry analyst in Hong Kong who did not wish to be identified.
“Take Geopetrol International as an example. It gives the impression sometimes of being based in Switzerland or France and with business links in India, but it is formally registered in Panama.”
Geopetrol already operates some form of joint venture with Goldpetrol, a subsidiary of Interra Resources of Singapore, which actually has links with Indonesia.
Confused? These webs can be extensive, leaving anyone seeking information on ownership confused and bemused.
Another little known Indonesian firm, Istech Resources Asia, has been named by the Burmese Energy Ministry as being successful in obtaining an onshore license, although it appears a local partner is still being arranged.
Under new rules, all foreign oil and gas firms starting up in Burma from now on must take on a Burmese partner.
Istech has an address in Jakarta and according to the Bloomberg Business Week companies guide specializes in oilfield support services. However, Bloomberg says on its website that the firm “does not have any key executives recorded.”
For reasons that have not been explained, only nine of the 18 onshore blocks offered last year have been awarded, and only four of those had, up to last week, completed development agreements.
Local firms named in these partnerships so far are Aye Myint Khine Company, A-1 Mining Company, and UNOG.
UNOG Pte Ltd is registered in Singapore but is run from Burma. Oil industry data names Win Kyaing as managing director. He is also linked to another firm called IGE.
Some equally obscure foreign firms are already in operation in onshore blocks in Burma, with names such as Silver Wave Sputnik Petroleum and Zarubezhnet Itera, with vaguely Russian connections.
Sputnik Petroleum says it is registered in Singapore, while its sister company Silver Wave Energy leads back to the small Russian republic of Kalmykia on the Caspian Sea. Zarubezhnet Itera has links with the Russian state in Moscow.
Only two major international oil firms took up offers in the last license bidding round. These are Petronas of Malaysia and PTTEP of Thailand, both state owned and both already engaged in Burma’s oil and gas industry.
“The apparent lack of interest from major players was surprising, although last year’s bidding round took place before big changes like Aung San Suu Kyi being elected to Parliament and the EU suspending its sanctions,” analyst Collin Reynolds in Bangkok told The Irrawaddy on May 8.
“It will be interesting to see if the next round attracts any big Western companies. However, I think many of them are waiting to see how the reforms pan out and whether they are going to be permanent. US oil firms are of course still excluded from any active participation.”
Another batch of onshore development blocks will be put up for sale in August, the Energy Ministry’s director general of planning Htin Aung said last week. A batch of offshore licenses will be offered by the end of this year, he said.
Industry giants such as Chevron, Total, Shell, Nippon, CNOOC and Mitsubishi sent representatives to the March trade show in Rangoon organized by the Ministry of Energy to promote development.
The ministry’s Htin Aung told the show’s participants that Burma has “proven” oil reserves of almost 140 million barrels and 322 billion cubic meters of gas.
Raising that volume of hydrocarbons from beneath land and sea is going to require large and long-term investment—much more than the likes of Silver Wave Sputnik Petroleum, Nobel Oil and GeoPetrol can muster.

Myanmar Offshore Blocks First Bidding Round – 2013 results

The Myanmar Ministry of Energy (MOE) announced the results of the Myanmar Offshore Blocks First Bidding Round – 2013, on 26 March 2014. The round had attracted 64 bids from 36 international E&P companies for the 30 blocks offered. Of the 30 blocks offered, winning bids for 20 blocks were announced. The Petroleum Sharing Contracts (PSC) for the 10 shallow water blocks and 10 deep water blocks will be awarded to the successful bidders upon the finalisation of terms between the companies and the Ministry of Energy.
The Myanmar Offshore Blocks First Bidding Round - 2013 was launched on 11 April 2013. A total of 30 offshore areas are offered, 11 shallow water blocks and 19 deep water blocks. Different PSC terms were offered for shallow water and deep water blocks with the key difference being the requirement of local partner participation for shallow water blocks. International companies entering into a Shallow Water PSC would have to work with a local partner, while companies entering a Deep Water PSC could carry out exploration without a local partner due to the high costs and technical expertise required.
Once the PSCs have been signed, the operators would have an 18 month Environmental Impact Assessment and Study Period, after which it would have the option to enter into a 3 year exploration work programme.
The blocks to be awarded are as follows:
Offshore shallow water blocks
AreaBlock nameType of contractCompany 1Company 2Company 3
Rakhine Offshore AreaA-04PSCBG Asia Pacific Pte. LtdWoodside Energy (Myanmar) Pte. Ltd.Myanmar Petroleum Exploration & Production Co., Ltd
A-05Unocal Myanmar Offshore Co. Ltd.Royal Marine Engineering-
A-07Woodside Energy (Myanmar) Pte. Ltd.BG Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.Myanmar Petroleum Exploration & Production Co., Ltd
Moattama Offshore AreaM-04Oil India LimitedMercator Petroleum LimitedOilmax Energy Pvt. Ltd.
M-07ROC Oil Co. Ltd.Tap Oil Ltd.Smart E&P International Limited
M-08Berlanga Holding B.V.--
Tanintharyi Offshore AreaM-15Transcontinental Group--
M-17Reliance Industries Ltd.--
M-18Reliance Industries Ltd.--
YEBOil India LimitedMercator Petroleum LimitedOilmax Energy Pvt. Ltd.
Offshore deep water blocks
AreaBlock nameType of contractCompany 1Company 2
Rakhine Offshore AreaAD-02PSCBG Exploration and Production Myanmar LimitedWoodside Energy (Myanmar) Pte. Ltd.
AD-03Ophir Energy Plc-
AD-05Woodside Energy (Myanmar) Pte. Ltd.BG Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.
AD-09Shell Myanmar Energy (Pte) Ltd.MOECO
AD-11Shell Myanmar Energy (Pte) Ltd.MOECO
Moattama Offshore AreaMD-02ENI Myanmar B.V.-
Tanintharyi Offshore AreaMD-04ENI Myanmar B.V.-
MD-05Shell Myanmar Energy (Pte) Ltd.MOECO
YWBTotal E&P Myanmar-

Friday, December 19, 2014

Myanmar market Analytic 2014

Myanmar - Interim strategy note for the period FY13-14 (English)

Myanmar is embarking on a triple transition from an authoritarian military system to democratic governance; from a centrally-directed economy to market-oriented reforms; and from 60 years of conflict to peace in the border areas. These transitions offer hope to the people of Myanmar for better, safer and more productive lives and represent an opportunity for the country to resume its place as one of the most dynamic economies in Asia. If successful, these transitions together present a chance for Myanmar's transformation, but in unfolding simultaneously they also pose the risk that setbacks in any one of these realms will affect the others. Each of these transitions is complex and on their own would challenge the capacity of most states. The strategy of the World Bank Group (WBG) at this early stage of re-engagement will thus focus on programs that can support the success of these three transitions, promote poverty reduction, and pave the way for the resumption of a full country program. The WBG's re-engagement is taking place after an absence from the country spanning more than two decades, with Myanmar in arrears to International Development Association (IDA), and in the context of a very limited knowledge base. The Interim Strategy Note (ISN) covers an 18 month period, during which the WBG will work with the Myanmar government to clear the country's arrears to IDA, which as of August 2012 stood at $406.5 million. The process of IDA arrears clearance will take place in parallel and be closely coordinated with Myanmar's clearance of arrears to the Asian Development Bank and other creditors. As preparations for arrears clearance continue, an urgent government priority critical to the success of Myanmar's triple transition moving from top-down decision making to participatory approaches and bottom up planning may be financed out of a pre arrears clearance grant. The grant, which is being presented to the Board for consideration at the same time as this ISN, would finance urgent infrastructure and community needs at the village level (for example small scale irrigation, rehabilitation of schools and health centers, construction of rural access roads), using a community-driven approach in which communities in partnership with local authorities identify, plan and implement their development priorities. 
Ref:world bank

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Antique jadeite jade !

A Brief History of Jade

Nephrite and Jadeite in China

From the earliest times in China, jade was valued as the most precious material above gold, silver or any other stone. The term “jade” is comprises of two different minerals, nephrite and jadeite. Both are extremely hard crystalline rocks formed by metamorphic processes in geological formations. The relatively late arrival of jadeite to China meant that nearly all that is considered as jade in China before the end of the 18th century is nephrite.

Nephrite is frequently found in shades of green, which deepens as the amount of iron present increases. Other colours of nephrite also include brown, grey, yellow, black, creamy white, often described as “mutton-fat”, as well as pure white. It is often opaque or semi-translucent and when polished, the stone takes on a subtle glossy patina.

Jadeite is distinct from nephrite in appearance and texture. It has a spectrum of colours that are generally brighter in tone, from bright apple green, lavender, white streaked with emerald or dark green, pure translucent white, blue, red and black. Jadeite also tends to have a greater translucency then nephrite and is at times partially crystallized. As light penetrates the surface, semi-transparent jadeite can have an alluring brilliance and complexity, making it desirable and often quite expensive.

Throughout history Chinese craftsmen, using innovative design and high levels of technical skills, produced a great variety of objects and works of diverse categories from jade. Often, the stone’s different colours, veins, and shapes were used in the overall design of the object to create stunning effects and intricate details. Jade rings, bangles, bead necklaces, snuff bottles and other personal effects were made for wealthy patrons and the imperial court. Elaborate vessels and censers for ritual or decorative use, in the forms of archaic bronzes, were also produced. Today such works of art are still highly sought after and can fetch high auction results. 

More To Explore

  • A Brief History of Jade
  • Nephrite and Jadeite in China

  • Heber Reginald Bishop's Collection
  • Spotlight On A Philanthropist’s Distinguished Jade Collection

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