Australia' s Woodside invests in Myanmar oil gas prospect
BY ROSS KELLY
SYDNEY -- Australia' s Woodside said it has bought a 40% stake in an oil and gas exploration block offshore Myanmar, as foreign companies become increasingly willing to risk investing in the once reclusive Asian nation.
Myanmar' s government has eased restrictions on the media, expanded access to the Internet, and given dissidents more freedom to express their views since a nominally civilian government took over last year, ending decades of military rule.
Woodside bought the stake in block AD-7 in the Rakhine Basin, in the western offshore area of Myanmar, from South Korea' s Daewoo International, without giving a price.
The details of the farm in are still confidential. Woodside will contribute under terms that are standard for an exploration permit, a Woodside spokesman said.
Daewoo will remain as the operator of the block and the pair have the opportunity to acquire seismic data in 2013 and 2014, with an option to drill a subsequent exploration well.
Woodside is attempting to expand its global footprint to balance better its scale in Australia, where it operates two multi billion dollar gas export projects the North West Shelf and Pluto with ambitions to lead the development of two more.
The other two Australian projects, however, are complex developments that face potential delays. Woodside is also part of a joint venture bidding for exploration acreage off the coast of Cyprus.
Dow Jones Newswires