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MOE Director Claims Black Gold is Transparent

The exploration and excavation of natural resources is being conducted under a new system in order to promote transparency, U Aung Htoo, deputy director of Ministry of Energy, said.

“The previous government assigned the sites directly to exploration firms. So there was criticism that the process was not transparent. Now the process is implemented by inviting tenders including a marking and grading system. All the steps are announced to the public,” he said at the Myanmar Petroleum and Natural Gas Exhibition.

“There are some firms currently signing contracts according to the new system. The excavation of petroleum takes at least five years. If petroleum is found, then there will be investments of billions of dollars,” said U Aung Htoo.

He said that there are many places left to explore in Myanmar. Petroleum is now being found using advanced technology in some places where previous companies found nothing, he added.

“It will take some time to see if the process goes smoothly and is suitable for the companies. If the new system is not good enough, there will be arrangements to change the new procedures. Now there is no need to recall the tender,” the director said.

It is estimated that there are about 50 million barrels of petroleum and 283.3 billions of cubic-meter of natural gas left to be explored.

“Most of the investments have been in energy, telecommunications and manufacturing sectors this year,” U Aung Naing Oo, general Secretary of Myanmar Investment Commission, told Myanmar Business Today.

According to statistics from Myanmar Investment Commission, the amount of foreign investment in oil and gas is $16.85 billion as of March 31.

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