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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        25  April 2011

Myanmar exploration deals on tap

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Burma’s state oil firm is set to sign contracts with companies from China, Singapore and South Korea for oil and gas exploration, state news media reported.

The New Light of Burma newspaper noted the upcoming deals in a report on a “special projects implementation meeting” headed by President Thein Sein last week in Naypyitaw.

The report on Saturday quoted Energy Minister Than Htay as saying that Burma would cooperate with foreign companies for oil and gas exploration.

The newspaper said Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise would sign contracts with China’s North Petro-Chem Corporation for onshore oil and gas exploration.

It will also sign agreements with Korea-Burma Development and Brilliant Oil Corporation of Singapore for exploration offshore in northwestern Rakhine state and the Tanintharyi region in southeastern Myanmar.

Deals will also be signed with Singapore’s SNOG and UPR for the mining of shale in eastern Karen state, the daily said.

However, the report did not say when the contracts would be signed or when work on any of the projects would start.

Natural gas is Myanmar’s largest export earner. The country has huge gas reserves and is conducting oil and gas exploration with local and foreign firms in 49 onshore and 26 offshore blocks.

Myanmar exports natural gas from its two major offshore gas fields in the Gulf of Martaban, with neighboring Thailand being the primary market.

The exploration contracts will be among the first major ones signed with foreign enterprises under the nominally civilian government installed last month.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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