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GAIL buys 30 pc stake in Myanmar oil, gas block

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Signs production-sharing contract with Myanmar Oil and Gas

The deal
GAIL would hold 30 per cent participating interest in the block whereas the rest would be held by the consortium partner Silver Wave Energy of Singapore.
India is pursuing import of natural gas from Myanmar through on-land pipeline.

New Delhi , Dec. 8

Expanding its base in oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) activities, GAIL (India) Ltd has acquired stake in Block A-7 in Myanmar.

GAIL, as consortium partner, along with Silver Wave Energy of Singapore, signed a production-sharing contract (PSC) with Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise on December 6 for the block located in Rakhine offshore area of Myanmar.

GAIL would hold 30 per cent participating interest whereas the rest would be held by Silver Wave Energy. The block will be developed in phases. Under phase-1, the consortium is going to study the prospects of the block, official sources told Business Line.

Exploration blocks

According to a statement issued by GAIL, the company now holds a participating interest in 17 exploration blocks in the country and abroad, along with national and international consortium partners.

Of these, seven are on-land blocks and 10 are offshore blocks. In India there are 13 blocks, which are in basins such as Mahanadi, Bengal, Gujarat - Saurashtra, Mumbai, Cambay, Assam-Akaran and Cauvery.

GAIL has also got stake in the A-1 and A-3 blocks in Myanmar and Block No. 56 in Oman.

As part of a consortium led by South Korea's Daewoo International Corporation, GAIL owns 10 per cent of Block A-1 in Myanmar, the biggest proven gas reserves in that country, which is also located off the Rakhine coast.

In August, GAIL had said that it estimated 5.7- trillion cubic feet (TCF) to 10 TCF of natural gas reserves in three discovered fields in two blocks in Myanmar. First commercial gas production is expected to commence in mid 2010, it added.

GAIL has 10 per cent stake each in Block A-1 and A-3 while ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), holds 20 per cent in the field South Korea's Daewoo operates both the blocks with 60 per cent stake and the remaining 10 per cent is with KOGAS of Korea.

Meanwhile India is pursuing import of natural gas from Myanmar through on-land pipeline. GAIL had submitted its bid in response to an invitation for a bid by the Ministry of Energy, Myanmar, for purchase of gas from Shwe and Shwe Phyu fields in A-1 blocks and Mya field in A-3 block in September 2006.

The Government of Myanmar has recently intimated to GAIL that they are reviewing their decision to sell this gas through pipeline route.

Myanmar is exploring options of selling gas and has asked for a bid for 3.5 MMTP of liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.

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