3 Killed in Yetagun Copter Crash

A helicopter hired by Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas oil and gas company for work in Burma’s Yetagun offshore natural gas field crashed into the Andaman Sea at around 11 am on Monday, killing three people on board including a Burmese pilot, while 11 others, including a French pilot, have been saved.

The helicopter was owned by Paris-based Heli-Union. A commercial assistant at Heli-Union’s head office in Paris told The Irrawaddy when contacted on Monday that further details were not available.

Company sources in Rangoon said that the 11 people who survived the accident were hospitalized in the city.

Petronas owns a 30 percent stake in the Yetagun field, which is operated by Britain’s Premier Oil Plc. Thailand’s PTTEP International Ltd holds a 14.17 percent share, Japan’s Nippon Oil Exploration Ltd has a 14.17 percent share.

Fifteen percent is owned by Burma’s state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise.

Petronas is also involved in Burma’s other offshore natural gas fields alongside the Burmese-owned IGE Group of Companies’ UNOG. According to business reports in January 2010, Petronas and UNOG signed production-sharing contracts with Burma’s Ministry of Energy for deep-sea Blocks MD-4, MD-5 and MD-6 located in the Gulf of Martaban, south of Rangoon.

Domestic natural gas expected to triple in Myanmar in next decade

0-11-09 The supply of natural gas for domestic use is to triple in Myanmar over the next decade, according to the Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).
The gas is due to come from two major projects coming on stream — Shwe and Zawtika — leading to increases in onshore gas production, and the construction of a new pipeline linking the older Yadana offshore gas project with the capital Yangon.
Gas exports are also scheduled to increase, almost doubling over the same period, said U. Myint Oo, MOGE’s acting managing director earlier this month.
In fiscal 2008-2009 year, Myanmar earned $ 2.38 bn from natural gas exports to Thailand, according to Myanmar government figures.
Electricity generation from natural gas in Myanmar is to drop from 39.8 % of the total in 2005 to just 4.3 % in 2030, when almost 95 % of electricity is due to come from hydropower projects.

ONGC to Lend $857 Million to Unit for Burma Project

Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) — Indian Oil & Natural Gas Corp. will lend 40 billion rupees ($857 million) to its overseas unit investing in a gas project off Burma’s coast as India’s biggest explorer seeks to meet rising fuel demand at home.

“For us it makes more sense to invest in assets through ONGC Videsh Ltd. than put the money in banks,” ONGC Chairman and Managing Director R.S. Sharma said in a telephone interview today. The interest-free loan has no maturity date, Sharma said.

ONGC, the New Delhi-based producer of almost 25 percent of the crude oil used by Asia’s third-largest energy-consuming nation, is seeking to diversify its supplies and keep pace with India’s growing fuel needs. The company plans to get the equivalent of 60 million metric tons of oil, or more than double its output in India, from overseas fields by 2025.

“There are limited number of opportunities at home,” said Apurva Shah, head of research at Prabhudas Lilladher Pvt. in Mumbai. “Given that there is going to be some serious growth in domestic demand in the years to come, ONGC needs to get its hands on whatever assets it can get.”

India is competing with China for energy assets worldwide as output from domestic fields declines. ONGC bought Imperial Energy Plc for 1.4 billion pounds ($2.2 billion) this year to gain access to oilfields in Russia. Chinese companies have announced plans to spend at least $16 billion on oil and gas fields in Africa.

ONGC declined 1.2 percent to 1,183 rupees at 11:04 a.m. in Mumbai trading today, compared with a 0.2 percent gain in the benchmark Sensitive Index of the Bombay Stock Exchange. The shares have risen 73 percent this year.

Burma Gas

ONGC has a 17 percent stake in the Shwe, Shwe-Phu and Mya areas in the A-1 and A-3 blocks in Burma, estimated to hold between 4.5 trillion and 7.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Daewoo International Corp. is the leader of the group that’s developing the fields and owns a 51 percent stake. Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise holds a 15 percent share, while GAIL India Ltd. and Korea Gas Corp. have 8.5 percent each.

The group will supply 500 million cubic feet of gas a day from the fields to China National Petroleum Corp., Daewoo International said on Aug. 25. The venture plans to start deliveries in May 2013.

“ONGC Videsh will start repaying the loan when they start generating cash from the project,” Sharma said. The loan requires the approval of the Cabinet, he said.

Project Infrastructure

The group is in talks with China National Petroleum to build an 825-kilometer (513-mile) overland pipeline to transport the cleaner-burning fuel to the world’s fastest-growing major economy. ONGC has the “option” to buy a share in the pipeline, R.S. Butola, managing director of ONGC Videsh, said on Oct. 6.

Daewoo International awarded a $1.4 billion contract to Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. to build an offshore production platform, offshore pipelines and a land terminal at the Burma’s fields by 2012, the South Korean company said on Nov. 2.

Proven reserves in Burma reached 17.5 trillion cubic feet at the end of last year, equivalent to a fifth of Australia’s reserves, according to the BP Statistical Review.

Myanmar-China Crude Pipeline-cnpc-has related rights of tax remission

On December 20, witnessed by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and Vice-Chairman of Myanmar’s State Peace and Development Council Maung Aye, representatives of CNPC and Myanmar’s Ministry of Energy signed an agreement of rights and obligation on the Myanmar-China Crude Pipeline in Naypyidaw, capital city of Myanmar.

The agreement explicitly defines the obligations of the CNPC-holding Southeast Asia Crude Pipeline Company Ltd. and the rights authorized by the Myanmar government to the company. According to the agreement, the Southeast Asia Crude Pipeline Company Ltd. is endowed with franchise rights of the Myanmar-China Crude Pipeline, and will be responsible for the construction and operation of the pipeline. The company also has related rights of tax remission, crude transit, import and export customs clearance and right-of-way operation. The agreement also stipulates that Myanmar government shall ensure the company’s ownership and exclusionary right to the pipeline and guarantee the safety of the pipeline.

The Myanmar-China Crude Pipeline starts from Madeira at the west coast of Myanmar, running 771 kilometers through Rakhine, Magway, Mandalay and Shan State, and enters into China from Ruili of Yunnan Province.


Burmese Junta Confiscates Public Oil Wells and Refinery for Chinese Company

Kyukpru: Burmese military authorities have recently seized publicly-owned oil wells that were dug by hand and a refinery on oil-rich Rambree Island in western Burma’s Arakan State for the benefit of Chinese company, reports a local resident.

The resident said a special team that was sent from the new Burmese capital Naypyidaw and local police forces confiscated the hand-dug oil wells along with a refinery in the areas of Renandaung and Munprun under Kyaukpru Township on 10 November, 2009.

“Villagers were ordered to vacate all traditional hand-dug oil wells from their own lands near their villages by a special team led by Brigadier General Myo Thant and local police officer Hla Tun on November 10. They were also told by the authority during the confiscation that no one is allowed to operate drilling in those sites as they have already been leased to CNOOC Ltd.,” he said on condition of anonymity.

The confiscated oil wells are from Kalarba, Chaungfyar, and Chaungwa Villages in the Renandaung area, as well as from Ngaoak, Kyauksalae, and Wamyaung Villages in the Munprun area.

The villager said that one refinery from Munprun Village, which was owned by a local villager named U Nyein Chan Maung, was also confiscated along with the wells. Continue reading “Burmese Junta Confiscates Public Oil Wells and Refinery for Chinese Company”

Burma’s August gas exports to Thailand earn 588 million dollars

Rangoon – Burma earned 588.7 million dollars off natural gas exports to neighbouring Thailand in August, media reports said Sunday. In August, 92,000 million cubic feet of natural gas was piped overland to Thailand from the Yadana and Yetagun reserves in the Gulf of Martaban, according to the National Planning and Economic Development, The Myanmar Times reported.

Burma’s natural gas exports earned the country 1.2 billion dollars in the first five months of fiscal year 2009-10, which started on April 1, the English-language weekly said.

In fiscal 2007-08, Burma exported a record 2.53 billion dollars worth of natural gas to Thailand. Gas exports declined slightly in fiscal 2008-09 to 2.38 billion.

Natural gas is Burma’s main foreign exchange earner, accounting for nearly 66.5 per cent of total exports in August, according to government statistics.

A government-backed oil company in Burma has hired thugs to beat and arrest locals

Oil company harasses informal diggers
Nov 17, 2009 (DVB)–A government-backed oil company in Burma has hired thugs to beat and arrest locals in the country’s northwestern Sagaing division who are digging for oil in private wells.

Future Company Limited has been granted permission by Burma’s military government to monopolise crude oil from hand-dug wells in the Pauktaw oil field, close to Kalay township.
A local oil digger told DVB that locals are being forced to sell oil to the company at reduced rates, or otherwise face attacks from thugs hired by the company, who often hand them to police.
The company buys one barrel of oil for 60,000 kyat ($US60) while locals claim they can sell to private buyers for 100,000 kyat ($US100).
“They hired some men to beat up and arrest people,” he said. “Locals have been doing this business for a lifetime and now face problems because this company taking advantage of them.”
“The well owners just sell oil to anyone who reaches to them first; the wells are their own so they sell to buyers who pay them more.” Continue reading “A government-backed oil company in Burma has hired thugs to beat and arrest locals”

Transocean deals midwater rig, 2 jackups set aside

* Contracts midwater rig at $206,000/day in Myanmar

* Stacks a jackup, brings total to 23 of 65; idles another

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Transocean Ltd (RIG.N), the largest oil and gas rig contractor, has found takers for an idle midwater rig despite anticipated weakness in that part of the market, the company said in a fleet update on Monday.

Transocean, which just last month said it had stacked two rigs of that class, said its Actinia rig would work in Myanmar at $206,000 per day, first for China’s CNOOC (0883.HK) through December, and then for Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production PTTE.BK until May.

While the price is below the going rate in other regions, it compares with the $190,000 per day Actinia earned for nearly three years in India through July. Actinia drills in water up to 1,500 feet (460 m) deep, or less than half that of other midwater floating rigs.

Transocean’s CEO predicted in September that seven of its 27 midwater rigs would be idle by year-end, before the market picked up next year. Excluding GSF Artic II, which is up for sale, that number had hit six before Actinia got a contract.

According to Transocean’s latest fleet update summary, the Switzerland-based company has also stacked another shallow-water jackup rig, bringing the total to 23 out of 65, while idling another.

Executives and analysts have credited Transocean’s aggressive stacking of jackups with helping to put a floor under the collapsing dayrates in that segment.
Reuters UK