Indian Oil Corp. Bids for Two Blocks in Myanmar

Indian Oil Corp and its exploration partner Oil India Ltd plan to bid for two onshore oil and gas exploration blocks in Myanmar. IOC-OIL combine had late last month bagged an oil block in Libya, the first ever overseas block won by an Indian firm through the competitive bidding route. IOC-OIL combine, who may possibly also be joined by state-owned gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd, are planning to bid for Blocks RS-5 and RS-9, west of the Irawaddy River, a top official said. "We were originally looking at 5 blocks but have now narrowed down to two. We are studying the geological data and will firm up our bid by the next month," he said.

India's flagship ONGC Videsh Ltd, the foreign arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corp and GAIL together hold 30 per cent interest in offshore A-1 and A-3 blocks. A Petroleum Ministry official said it has been decided that OVL would scout for opportunities in offshore Myanmar while IOC-OIL combine have been mandated to access the onland blocks being offered. "OIL believes the geology of Myanmar onshore blocks is very similar to that of areas in India's northeast where it is working," the official said. OVL, which owns stakes in oil and gas blocks/fields in 10 countries across the globe, is looking at data for the eight Myanmar offshore blocks still available.