Woodside promises to reduce marine impact from gas production

Australia’s Woodside Petroleum will raise attempts to protect the Myanmar environment even as it mulls the commercial viability of developing gas reserves in Block A6 , which is off the coast of Rakhine.

“We are trying balance between [gas] development and environmental protection,” said Daniel Clery, Myanmar country manager at Woodside, which has a 40 percent stake in A6 and is the joint operator of the block with MPRL E&P and France oil and gas company Total. Woodside also holds stakes in eight other offshore gas blocks in Rakhine and Ayeyarwady.

Mr Clery was speaking at a knowledge sharing session in Nay Pyi Taw this week. He said it is common in other countries for operators of major development projects in sectors like the oil and gas sector to face tensions with environmental conservationists and locals, adding that Woodside will take efforts to minimise its impact on the environment and locals in Myanmar.

“Environmental management is important. We are cautious and we are implementing procedures to implement this as well. If possible, we would like to give benefits to the locals,” he said.

On that front, Woodside promised to work with the government to conserve “highly valuable” marine ecosystems and reduce the impact on marine resources caused by gas production.

Woodside has conducted offshore exploration activities in Myanmar since 2015. Last year, it cancelled a tender for offshore seismic work in Rakhine after gas discovered at two wells in blocks A6 and AD7 were insufficient for it to continue drilling for the year.

The company is now still in the process of evaluating the commercial viability of drilling in those blocks and is expected to make a decision this year.

Source: Myanmar Times

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