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Australia’s Woodside Joins Daewoo to Explore for Oil in Myanmar

Woodside Petroleum has agreed to explore for oil and gas in Myanmar with South Korea’s Daewoo International Corp, giving Australia’s biggest oil and gas company a foot in the door in one of the global industry’s most promising frontiers.

Woodside said on Friday that Daewoo International has agreed to sell it a 40% stake in a production sharing contract in Block AD-7 in the Rakhine Basin, in the western offshore area of Myanmar, next to Daewoo’s Shwe gas field development. The deal gives Woodside a leg up over many other Western energy companies eager to get into Myanmar, which is opening up after nearly 50 years of military rule.

Myanmar is believed to be rich in natural gas reserves, which various government officials estimate to range between 11 trillion and 23 trillion cubic feet, or nearly 10 to 20 percent of world leader Australia. It is also close to energy hungry markets such as China – which will begin importing gas from Myanmar next year – and India.

Gas already represents 57% of the Southeast Asian country’s exports, but most foreign investment so far has come from China and Thailand. With the easing of U.S. sanctions, many Western firms are keen to invest in the country.

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