The Straits Times
Published on Feb 24, 2013

Myanmar, shining new hope for global oil giants


YANGON (AFP) - While other countries may be more reliable and better equipped, Myanmar has emerged as the new promised land for global oil and gas giants unperturbed by a lack of data on its proven energy reserves.

Since political reforms helped Myanmar shed its pariah status and prompted international sanctions to be lifted, the world's major energy firms have been eyeing the potentially oil-and-gas-rich country tucked between China and India.

Thai explorer PTTEP, EPI Holdings of Hong Kong, Swiss firm Geopetro International Holding and Petronas of Malaysia were among a slew of companies to strike exploration deals last June.

In September, French giant Total bought a 40-per-cent stake in an offshore exploration venture, soon followed by Australia's biggest energy firm Woodside - while several American and European majors are reportedly poised to join in.