“The main issue is rising pressure from local business community and politicians against foreign business interests … [the Myanmar government has to be] careful with elections coming … not be seen as selling out … it does not want to be criticized [and want to be seen to have] done all their homework … It’s a political not just an business issue,” Dr. Tin Maung Than, a senior research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies told Rigzone.
MOGE revealed that the evaluation of final proposals for the offshore tender was completed late 2013.
“The evaluation of the final proposals was done last December, but the final decision will be made at the minister-level, or the president,” MOGE director U Than Min told The Myanmar Times.
The opening of Myanmar’s energy sector to foreign investors in recent years has already brought some tangible benefits to the country, with oil and gas investments amounting to $14.372 billion last year, data from the Myanmar Investment Commission showed.
Furthermore, Myanmar earned around $4 billion in annual revenue from the oil and gas industry, The Myanmar Times reported, citing industry sources as the government never released official data on the matter.
Meanwhile, Myanmar has taken steps toward implementing global standards in exploiting the country’s natural resources. Earlier this month, representatives from resources – including oil and gas – companies, government and civil society set up a multi-stakeholders group under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). The group, which includes representatives from Total and Petronas, will publicize income and tax payments of Myanmar-based energy firms and report to the EITI, which Myanmar has applied to join.
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