Oil and Gas Sector Needs Efficient Pipelines

The Myanmar government urged EU companies to invest in the country’s energy sector as industry insiders noted that gas exploration is one of the biggest opportunities in the power-hungry Southeast Asian country.

Xavier Preel, general manager of Total E&P Myanmar, said energy and infrastructure are the two main priorities of the current government.

“Our counterpart in the Ministry of Electricity and Energy are working day and night to address these issues. We need to be confident that they will find solutions,” he told participants at the Myanmar-EU Economic Forum.

“As private investors, we are here to help bring technical and financial solutions so that the issue of power outages can be solved as soon as possible with an affordable price,” he said.

Mr Preel expressed confidence in the potential of the gas industry in Myanmar, adding that his company is already “spending a lot of money on gas exploration activities.”

“We have high hopes. And again, I would like to remind people that two gas discoveries were made at the beginning of 2016; one on block 87 offshore northern Rakhine and the other one on block A6 which is offshore of Ngwe Saung.

“We have many blocks and we are continuing exploration activities which look promising,” he added.

Yasuko Yoshida, country chair of Shell Myanmar Energy, shared Mr Preel’s optimism about the potential of gas industry in Myanmar.

“We are very excited to find additional gas but I can’t commit. We need to reach huge gas resources.

“It will take time to have more clarity that gas can be produced domestically but it is pretty much expensive to produce gas. So for now I think it really important to expect gas to be coming into the country,” she said.

“What is also missing is a good pipeline network. The existing pipelines are old and their efficiency cannot be improved. So the pipelines need to be upgraded as well.

“I think we need to focus more on how domestic gas can be produced and how we can utilise it,” she added.

Daw Mi Mi Khaing, director general of Department of Electric Power Planning under the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, had urged European investors to focus on the energy and power sector.

“In our country we can only supply 40 percent of the total demand for power, we are still finding solution to address the 60pc gap. That’s why a lot of projects need to be implemented to supply electricity,” she said.

“Our country has a lot of opportunities for the energy sector. Priority areas are rural areas to receive access to power and to take care of the people and social improvement,” she added.

Daw Mi Mi Khaing said Myanmar has a lot of potential for the hydropower, but noted that hydropower projects take time to construct and operate. Hydropower may be the long-term solution for fulfilling the country’s energy demand, she said.

“For the short-term and medium-term, the government is looking at importing energy or interconnecting with the neighbouring countries,” she said.

“Transmission line construction is also a priority of the government. We have to implement the distribution system and expand the national grid to wider reach, including conflict areas,” she said, underscoring the need to have a good analysis and solution for the renewable energy development in specific regions.


Source: Myanmar Times

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