Woodside confident of Myanmar growth: Chairman


YANGON — Despite massive profit writedowns across its global operations earlier this year, Australian oil and gas firm Woodside Energy is confidently predicting growth in the Myanmar market, its chairman told the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday.

The company’s Singapore-incorporated local subsidiary, Woodside Myanmar, opened its Yangon field office in 2014. It is currently involved in partnerships to explore six oil and gas blocks off the coast of Rakhine State, where it has discovered two gas reserves since January.

“We’re especially pleased with our recent exploration success in Myanmar where we have announced two gas discoveries over the last six months,” Woodside chairman Michael Chaney told Thursday’s meeting in the Australian city of Perth.

“These back-to-back discoveries are at opposite ends of the Rakhine Basin. We believe the proximity of these wells to nearby infrastructure and our strong partnerships in Myanmar enhance commercialisation possibilities,” he added.

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The first discovery, announced in early January, was made in the A-6 block, where Woodside holds an exploration license in equal partnership with Myanmar Petroleum Resources Ltd. On February 22, a second discovery was announced in the AD-7 block, where Woodside holds a 40 percent stake alongside majority partner Daewoo International.

In February, Woodside announced a 99 percent decline in full-year profit to US$26 million, down from $2.41 billion the previous year, as a result of the global collapse in oil prices. The following month, the company shelved its plans to develop its $40 billion liquefied natural gas plant project at James Price Point off the northwestern coast of Australia.

While Woodside appears determined to remain in the Myanmar market, declining oil prices have forced the exit or scaling down of other international operators from the local oil and gas sector.

Reuters reported on April 18 that US firm Chevron is planning to sell its Myanmar gas assets valued at $1.3 billion, based in the Yadana gasfields. Woodside is expected to be one of the prospective buyers, according to the report.

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