Category Archives: Myanmar (Burma)
Burma, officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar , is a country in South Asia and Southeast Asia. Burma is bordered by India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand. One-third of Burma’s total perimeter of 1,930 kilometres (1,200 mi) forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea
Woodside advises that Daewoo International Corporation has accepted an offer by Woodside to farm-in to the Production Sharing Contract for Block AD-7 in the Rakhine Basin, located in the western offshore area of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
The offer is for a 40% participating interest in the Production Sharing Contract, and is subject to execution of fully-termed agreements, completion of due diligence, and necessary government and other approvals. Daewoo will remain operator of the PSC.
The proposal provides the opportunity for Woodside and Daewoo to undertake a 3D seismic acquisition program during the period 2013-2014. The transaction also provides the option to drill an exploration well in a subsequent exploration period.
Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said the offer demonstrated the company’s commitment to secure international growth opportunities in frontier and emerging basins that leverage Woodside’s core capabilities, especially in deepwater exploration.
“The Rakhine deep water basin is an exciting frontier exploration area and Block AD-7 is adjacent to the Daewoo-operated Shwe field development,” Coleman said.
“We are looking forward to finalising this opportunity and building a new partnership with Daewoo.”
- Woodside strikes agreement in Burma (news.com.au)
- Woodside Plans to Join Daewoo in Myanmar Exploration Venture – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Myanmar army may get invite to US-Thai exercise (kansascity.com)
SITTWE, Myanmar – Gunshots rang out and residents fled blazing homes in western Myanmar Tuesday as security forces struggled to contain deadly ethnic and religious violence that has killed at least a dozen people and displaced thousands more.
The conflict pitting ethnic Rakhine Buddhists against Rohingya Muslims in coastal Rakhine state marks some of the worst sectarian unrest in years. President Thein Sein has declared a state of emergency and deployed army troops to restore stability, warning the fragile nation’s recent democratic reforms are under threat as it emerges from half a century of military rule.
On Tuesday in the regional capital, Sittwe, police fired live rounds into the air to disperse a group of Rohingyas who could be seen burning homes in one neighbourhood. Hordes of people ran to escape the chaotic scene.
“Smoke is billowing from many directions and we are scared,” said Ma Thein, an ethnic Rakhine resident. “The government should send in more security forces to protect both communities.”
Truckloads of security forces have been deployed in Sittwe for days, and much of the port city was reported calm, including its main road. But homes were burning in three or four districts that have yet to be pacified.
In one, police fired skyward to separate hundreds-strong mobs wielding sticks and stones; in another, soldiers helped move 1,000 Muslims out on trucks to safer areas.
Ma Thein said that some people were running short of food and water, with banks, schools and markets closed. Some small shops opened early Tuesday to sell fish and vegetables early in the morning to residents who braved the tense streets.
The unrest, which began Friday, was triggered by the rape and murder last month of a Buddhist girl, allegedly by three Muslims, and the June 3 lynching of 10 Muslims in apparent retaliation. There are long-standing tensions between the two groups.
The government regards the Rohingyas as illegal migrants from Bangladesh and has rendered them stateless by denying them citizenship. Although some are recent settlers, many have lived in Myanmar for generations and rights groups say they suffer severe discrimination.
The United Nations’ refugee agency estimates 800,000 Rohingya live in mountainous Rakhine state. Thousands attempt to flee every year to Bangladesh, Malaysia and elsewhere in the region, trying to escape a life of abuse that rights groups say includes forced labour, violence against women and restrictions on movement, marriage and reproduction.
The conflict poses one the biggest tests yet for Myanmar’s new government as it tries to reform the nation after the long-ruling army junta largely ceded power last year. The handling of the unrest will draw close scrutiny from Western powers, which have praised Thein Sein’s administration and rewarded it by easing years of harsh economic sanctions.
Human Rights Watch called on the government to “take all necessary steps to protect communities at risk” in Rakhine state and accused authorities of not doing enough to stop the violence.
The New York-based group’s deputy Asia director, Elaine Pearson, also questioned Thein Sein’s decision to impose a state of emergency, which allows the military to take over administrative functions in the area.
“Given the Burmese army’s brutal record of abuses … putting the military in charge of law enforcement could make matters worse,” Pearson said. Myanmar is also known as Burma.
“The Burmese government‘s policies of exclusion have fostered resentment against the Rohingya,” Pearson said “Longer-term, the government should be thinking about how to address the years of discrimination and neglect that the Rohingya have faced.”
State run newspapers reported that 4,100 people who lost homes had taken refuge in Buddhist monasteries, schools and in a police headquarters the towns of Maungdaw and Buthidaung, both in Rakhine state.
Thousands more were reportedly displaced in Sittwe itself, according to a Rakhine political party called the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party. The party is one of the major parties associated with the country’s ethnic minorities, and won 35 parliamentary seats in the 2010 elections.
State media has reported eight dead in Maungdaw, and an AP journalist saw the corpses of four people killed in Sittwe.
According to the Seadrill’s Fleet Status Report for May, Total has hired the rig on a three-month contract. The contract, expiring in mid-July, will bring approximately $12 million to Seadrill.
Total operates the Yadana field (31.2%). Located on offshore Blocks M5 and M6, this field produces gas that is delivered mainly to PTT (the Thai state-owned company) to be used in Thai power plants.
The Yadana field also supplies the domestic market via a land pipeline and, since June 2010, via a sub-sea pipeline built and operated by Myanmar’s state-owned company MOGE.
Following the completion of drilling operations in Myanmar, the rig will leave south-east Asia in which it has been operating since 2010. West Callisto will move to Middle East to commence drilling operations offshore Saudi Arabia under a three-year contract with Saudi Aramco. The drilling program is scheduled to start in September 2012
- Seadrill Secures Contract for Jack-Up Rig West Callisto Offshore Saudi Arabia (worldmaritimenews.com)
- Seadrill Expects Stronger Second Quarter after Robust 1Q 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
- South Korea: Seadrill Confirms Samsung Drillships Contracts (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Strong Demand for UDW Drillships Spurs Seadrill to Order One More from SHI (South Korea) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Seadrill Orders Harsh Environment Rig in South Korea (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Ezion to Provide Service Rig for Operations Offshore Myanmar (mb50.wordpress.com)
The U.S. will also begin the process of easing away sanctions that have so far banned exports of U.S. financial services and investment to Myanmar in response to its democratic transition.
The easing of sanctions has massive implications for the U.S. since Myanmar is a country rich in resources from oil and gas to teak.
The country recently auctioned off 10 onshore oil and gas blocks that U.S. companies couldn’t partake in because of American sanctions on the country. Myanmar had 11.8 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves at the end of 2010 and has been tapped by energy hungry Asian giants like China and India.
Earlier this year we wrote that Myanmar’s economic isolation from the West was beginning to end. At the time Dr. Thein Swe, Senior Professor of Economics, Finance and Globalizationat South East Asian Institute of Global Studies said Western countries had been sending their companies to look for investment opportunities in Myanmar in anticipation of an easing up of sanctions.
Myanmar is also expected to be important from a stratetgic point of view as the Obama administration is looking at the Asia-Pacific region as a priority. Myanmar’s democtratic transition could also be one of the Obama administration’s only successful foriegn relations achievement in Asia, according to Myanmar specialisty David Steinberg.
And Myanmar’s been on the radar for many investors. When we spoke with investment guru Jim Rogers last month, he said with every day that goes by, he gets increasingly excited about opportunities in Myanmar. Rogers had previously said that those that invest in the country could be rich in the next 20 – 40 years and had opined, “Unfortunately I’m a citizen of the land of the free and we from the land of the free are not allowed to invest in Myanmar, it’s illegal. You could invest there, but I cannot.”
Singapore’s Ezion Holdings Limited has sealed a charter contract with a value of up to USD 118 million over a 3 year period to provide a service rig to be used by a European based multinational oil company to support its oil and gas activities in offshore Myanmar.
The Service Rig is expected to be deployed and working in the field of Yadana before the end of 2012 after its refurbishment and upgrading. Ezion said that the project would be funded through internal resources as well as bank borrowings. The charter will not have a material impact on the Group’s earnings per share or net tangible assets per share for the financial year ending 31 st December 2012.
Ezion owns one of the largest and most sophisticated class of Multi Purpose Self Propelled Jack up Rigs (“Liftboats”) in the world and one of the first to promote the usage of Liftboats in Asia & Middle East. Ezion’s Liftboats are used mainly for well servicing, commissioning, maintenance and decommissioning of offshore platforms.
- Pioneer Drilling logs a 4Q profit (mysanantonio.com)
- Drilling permit slowdown having effect on St. Tammany businesses (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Burma’s oil and natural gas sectors eyed by Malaysia (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Jubilant Energy to Invest $80 million in Myanmar Oil, Gas Block (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Bangladesh: Looks to joint oil-gas exploration with Myanmar (Burma) (mb50.wordpress.com)