Kaing Lu Hla (Yoe Ma Myay)

Narinjara News, 21 July 2020

China and Australia will launch oil and gas exploration drilling at Block AD-8, about 59 miles southwest of Sittwe, Rakhine State, according to a report in the Myanmar Times on the 17th of this month.

According to the report, China and Australia will jointly dig up to eight wells in the Rakhine offshore block AD-8, citing Australian company Woodside, the project’s operator. The project will be launched in the third quarter of 2020.

The AD-8 oil block, about 59 miles offshore from Sittwe Township in the Rakhine Bumi trench, is a joint venture between China National Petroleum Cooperation International and Woodside. In the initial stages of the project one to three boreholes are expected to be completed, with Woodside estimating completion by mid-2021.

A joint venture agreement was signed with Woodside and the Chinese state-owned CNPCI   for Block AD-1, AD-6 and AD-8.  Each company owns a 50% stake in the shares.

In addition, POSCO International Cooperation, a joint venture with Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), will implement Project Development Phase 3, an upgrade of the existing Shwe gas production project off the Rakhine coast, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Depending on the success of these wells, more wells could be drilled between 2022 and 2024, and the drilling will depend on the approval of the government and its partners, the company said.

Operators that will carry out oil and gas development projects and exploration for Block AD-8 and Block AD-1 off the Rakhine coast have already prepared environmental assessment reports and submitted them to the Department of Environmental Conservation.