Reliance opening E&P outpost in Myanmar

Vol 18, PW 18 (07 May 15) People & Policy

Reliance is planning to open an office in Yangon as it shifts its focus away from the regulatory nightmare that is India to more prospective acreage in Myanmar.

PETROWATCH learns Nikhil Champaneri, 44, based in Navi Mumbai looking after Reliance’s Yemen blocks 34 and 37, is taking on additional charge of leading Reliance’s Myanmar operations from a yet-to-be disclosed location in Yangon. Unclear is exactly where the new office will be located or if Champaneri, who reports to Reliance’s E&P president Ajay Khandelwal, will re-locate to Yangon or continue to work from Navi Mumbai.

“Champaneri has a broad knowledge base," says a Reliance colleague. "He understands geology and government relations.

" Champaneri joined Reliance in 1992 and worked for 12 years in Ahmedabad managing polymers marketing and development before joining the Mumbai E&P division in 2006. As Yemen continues to implode his energy and talents will now be diverted to Myanmar overseeing work at the M-17 and M-18 offshore blocks where Reliance on March 31, 2015 announced it had signed PSCs marking its maiden entry into the country.

Expect a tender soon for a consultant to carry out an EIA report which must be completed within six months. Reliance then plans a 12-month geological assessment and seismic surveys will follow if results are positive.

A source adds Reliance will firm up its exploration plans closer to the end of the 18-month “study period.”

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