Curfew Imposed in Mandalay Oil Field

The Mandalay regional government has imposed a month-long curfew until December 3 in the Tatma oil field near Nyaung-U township to prevent illegal oil drilling, a regional legislator said.

MP U Win Myint Khaing, who represents Nyaung-U, said the township imposed the curfew under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Oil wells have been blocked with concrete to prevent illegal extraction, and legal submissions have been made to the government, he said.

“It will be submitted to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Assembly of the Union),” U Win Myint Khaing said. “Not much oil was found here, but output has increased since the (2016) earthquake.”Only two companies had dug exploratory wells in the oil field, but their output had increased since the start of the year, and people had started to drill for oil on farmland.

Now there are about 300 illegal drilling holes in the township, residents said.

Ko Zaw Moe Aung, a local resident, said, “About 40 years ago, the government carried out the Tatma Oil Reserve project, but oil output was low, so no one was interested.”

“Now, five companies and many private individuals are drilling here,” he said. “Locals want fairness. They want to dig on their land. There are land ownership conflicts here.”

Around 100 companies and people have applied for permits to extract oil on more than 5000 acres, U Win Myint Khaing said.

Source: The Myanmar Times

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