OVL prepares for work at onland Myanmar blocks

Vol 18, PW 1 (28 Aug 14) People & Policy

Buddhist-majority Myanmar has seen its human rights record improve dramatically since 2011 when the ruling military junta was replaced with an elected civilian government.

This stability is good news for ONGC Videsh, which has begun work at two onland blocks after signing PSCs on August 8 for the 16,995-sq km B2 block or Zebyutaung-Nandaw in northern Myanmar near Manipur in India’s northeast; and 1650-sq km block EP-3 or Thegon-Shwegu in central Myanmar. “Our first task is to carry out an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) at both blocks,” OVL tells us.

“We’ve begun preparing a tender for an EIA consultant to be issued by November.” After the EIA study OVL will buy old seismic of the block from Myanmar’s ministry of energy.

“We’ll study whatever data is available and carry out G&G studies simultaneously,” we hear. OVL will decide how much seismic data to shoot and then issue a tender for seismic acquisition, processing and interpretation in the first quarter of 2015.

OVL believes working in Myanmar will be challenging as its geology is similar to India’s rugged northeast. “We have experience of Manipur and Mizoram,” adds OVL.

“But Myanmar will be different.” OVL plans to drill one exploration well at each block by August 2016 and decide well depths by end-2015.