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Offshore NatGas Find Puts This Country Back On The Map

In March 2014, I reported on the first-ever modern offshore oil and gas licensing round in the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar.

And this week, we saw the first big discovery to come out of this emerging play.

That came from Australia’s Woodside Petroleum. Which said Monday it has hit significant natural gas pay in its recent drilling campaign off Myanmar’s western coast.

Woodside reported that the Shwe Yee Htun-1 well on the company’s A-6 license in the Rakhine Basin encountered 49 feet of net gas pay — within a gross gas column of approximately 405 feet. Here’s a map detail of the drilling area.

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Source: Woodside Petroleum

The numbers on the well look decent. And importantly, they provide the first confirmation of a working petroleum system in this part of Myanmar’s offshore basin system.

That could signal some big prizes to be had here. Given that previously-discovered natural gas fields in the Myanmar offshore have yielded large reserves numbers — such as Daewoo/CNPC’s Shwe development with 4.53 trillion cubic feet, and Total’s Yadana field with 5.7 trillion cubic feet.

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Sale options for gas here are also growing. With a recently-comissioned pipeline now carrying gas across Myanmar into China — as well as established pipeline infrastructure connecting fields here to Thailand.

All of which should give a boost to exploration activity in this emerging play. With Woodside saying that the gas discovery now de-risks exploration targets across the six blocks held by the company in the Myanmar offshore.

Woodside’s find should also help lift prospects for other players who grabbed licenses in the 2014 bid round — including Shell, BG Group, Eni, Statoil, Total, and Chevron.

Watch for more announcements from ongoing drilling campaigns here, which could yield some of the most valuable discoveries going in the E&P space.

Here’s to the land of elephants

By Dave Forest

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