YANGON, Feb 26 (Xinhua): Three more available blocks off Myanmar's southern Tanintharyi coast are under natural gas exploration with test wells being planned for drilling by Malaysia's Petronas Company, sources with the state-run Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise confirmed today.
A geophysical site survey at blocks M-16, M-17 and M-18, with areas ranging from about 13,000 square-kilometers (sq-km) to 14,000 sq-km, has begun this week and the survey will last over a month until late March, the sources said.
Petronas had earlier been involved in gas exploration at block M-15 in the same offshore area.
Recent years have seen foreign oil companies increase engagement in oil and gas exploration in Myanmar. Thailand's PTTEP, for example, has covered a number of blocks including M-3, M-4, M-7, M-9 and M-11 under contracts.
Besides, a consortium comprising South Korea's Daewoo International, South Korea Gas Corporation, the ONGC Videsh Ltd of India and the Gas Authority of India has also been engaged in gas exploration at block A-1 off Myanmar's western Rakhine coast since 2000. In early 2004, huge natural gas deposit, estimated to yield up to 14 trillion cubic feet (396.2 billion cubic-meters) of gas, was found at the block.
Myanmar is planning to sell gas produced from the area to India or China and negotiations are underway to reach formal agreements.
Another consortium made up of Chinese and Singaporean companies is also engaged in oil and gas exploration in some onshore and offshore areas.