January 6, 2012 / 9:37 AM / in 7 years

Factbox - Myanmar's oil and gas sector, one of world's oldest

(Reuters) - Here are some key facts and figures on Myanmar’s oil and gas sector, one of the oldest in the world:

* France’s Total (TOTF.PA), which has an over 31 percent stake in the $1 billion (644 million pounds) Yadana gas project, said Myanmar produces around 180,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, of which 90 percent comes from gas.

* Myanmar has a total of 53 onshore blocks. With the latest tender results, the country has 22 contracts signed with 16 foreign companies, such as India’s Essar Group and China’s Sinopec. * Myanmar has 51 offshore blocks, of which 26 are deepwater. In this sector 29 contracts have been signed with 14 foreign companies including Malaysia’s Petronas PETR.UL, Total and China’s CNOOC (0883.HK) for 30 offshore blocks.

WHO CONTROLS MYANMAR’S OIL INDUSTRY?

The Ministry of Energy decides on oil and gas policy. It has oversight of three state-linked firms which include:

* Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise, responsible for oil and gas exploration and production. It also oversees domestic gas transmission via a 1,200 mile onshore pipeline grid.

* Myanma Petrochemical Enterprise, which operates three small refineries and four fertiliser plants as well as smaller processors dotted across the country.

* Myanma Petroleum Products Enterprise oversees retail and wholesale distribution.

HISTORY

* Myanmar exported its first oil barrel in 1853, making it one of the world’s first oil producers. The U.S., in comparison, built its first commercial oil well in 1859.

* Between 1886 and 1963, the country’s oil industry was dominated by Burmah Oil Company, which discovered the Ychaugyaung field in 1887 and the Chauk field in 1902. Both are still in production.

* The oil and gas industry was nationalized after the military seized power in 1962. The military junta operated the fields or delegated the task to private operators under production sharing contracts.

* Between 1962 and 1988, Myanmar depended on a strict nationalist policy to keep out foreign investors. After this period, the military junta passed laws to attract foreign oil companies and revive its ailing oil and gas sector.

(Sources: Total website and Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise)

Reporting by Niluksi Koswanage; Editing by Michael Urquhart

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