Suntera offers 50% in block M8 offshore Myanmar

Vol 11, PW 1 (17 May 07) People & Policy

Suntera, a joint venture between the Khemka-controlled Sun Group and gas major ITERA of Russia, is offering to farm-out up to 50% of an offshore Myanmar block in the Andaman Sea.

PETROWATCH learns a technical team from Suntera was in India three weeks ago to offer ONGC Videsh and GAIL a stake in 11,068-sq km block M8 in the Moattama Offshore Area of Myanmar, not far from the controversial Total-operated Yadana gas project. “We are looking at the block data,â€‌ confirms OVL.

“They are offering us up to 50%.â€‌ This is not the first time OVL is looking at M8.

In July 2005 OVL declined an invitation from Myanmar authorities to bid for M8 on a â€کstand-alone’ basis, citing inadequate data. Instead OVL submitted a joint bid for M8 and M11 but lost interest when M11 was later awarded to PTT Exploration and Production of Thailand.

Contacted by PETROWATCH, GAIL confirms Suntera has also contacted it with an offer, but adds: “We have lost interest in getting more acreage in Myanmar. Look at A1 and A3 where we have a stake.

We want to bring gas to India but they (Myanmar authorities) have decided to sell it to China. It is like a dictatorship.

You invest so much money in a country to discover gas and then they tell you to sell it to China.â€‌ GAIL and OVL have a combined 30% stake in each of the Daewoo-operated offshore blocks A1 and A3.

Suntera has also informally told Oil India about the opportunity but Oil India is constrained by a government directive to restrict itself to onland blocks in Myanmar. Last year on 15th September Myanmargenerals signed a PSC for offshore block M8 with ITERA, Zarubezhneft and the Sun Group at a ceremony in the Royal Kumudra Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw.

In March 2006, Nay Pyi Taw replaced Yangon as the official capital of Myanmar.