Daewoo Names New Chief After Ex-CEO Quits Over Myanmar Gas Sale Spat

South Korea's Daewoo International Corp., the operator of Blocks A1 and A3 offshore Myanmar, appointed a new CEO after the firm's former top-ranking executive resigned over a disagreement regarding a plan by parent company POSCO to sell its stake in the Southeast Asian gas project, an official told Rigzone Thursday.

Daewoo International named Vice President Choi Jung Woo to replace Jeon Byeong Eal, who resigned from the posts of president and CEO.

The management at POSCO, one of the world's largest steelmaker, is understood to have plans to dispose of its interests in the Myanmar gas assets for $1.3 billion (KRW 1.5 trillion) as part of company restructuring -- a move that Jeon was openly critical, The Korea Herald reported earlier this week.

"Having thought about what would be the future-oriented measure for the group, the company and all those concerned, I concluded that resigning is the quickest way to end the situation ... Regardless of the details, I feel responsible for raising worries among employees and shareholders by making it appear as though there was discord regarding the restructuring,” Jeon said, as quoted by The Korean Herald.

The proposed plan to sell its Myanmar gas assets appeared to have been dropped by POSCO.

"It's not going to happen. POSCO have decided not to sell the gas fields (in Myanmar)," the Daewoo International official told Rigzone.

Daewoo International has a 51 percent interest in Blocks A1 and A3 in the Andaman Sea offshore Myanmar, with the fields having certified reserves of around 4 trillion cubic feet (Tcf).

India's ONGC Videsh Ltd. and Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) hold 17 percent and 8.5 percent interest in the blocks, respectively, while Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) has a 15 percent stake and the remaning 8.5 percent is held by Korean Gas Corp. (KOGAS).

In its April company presentation, Daewoo International revealed that ramp-up production at Blocks A1 and A3 was completed in December 2014, allowing the assets to entered into stable gas production. The operator has started 3D seismic exploration in January ahead of plans for exploration drilling in 2017.


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