The Myanmar Ministry of Energy has announced the tender of 30 offshore petroleum blocks.

Myanmar's Ministry of Energy (“MOE”) has announced the invitation of bids for petroleum operations on a production-sharing basis in 11 shallow and 19 deep-sea blocks.

Interested parties have until 14 June 2013 to submit expressions of interest for the blocks. The detailed requirements for the submissions of interest were published yesterday on the MOE website.   

Pre-qualified bidders will be announced following submissions of the expressions of interest and provided with further information on each of the blocks, including geological data prepared by the state-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (“MOGE”). 

Prequalified bidders will also be provided with standard terms and conditions upon which to base their proposals. The announcement states that there will be no negotiation of terms and conditions and that pre-qualified bidders will have only one opportunity to present their best terms and conditions in the tender submission. The best offered terms and conditions for each block will be selected as the successful bids for entry into a PSC with MOGE. 

The standard MOGE PSC terms as at July 2012 are available on the MOE website, however it remains to be seen whether the PSCs to be provided to bidders in respect of the new offshore blocks will be in a revised form.

Pre-qualified bidders will be permitted to submit proposals for up to any three offshore blocks (shallow water, deep water or both), together with proposed terms and conditions. Submissions must be made separately on a block by block basis. The announcement states that bidders should have the “technical competency, financial capability, experience, expertise and technical Know-how” to conduct offshore petroleum exploration and development works, and must have “a good track record” with respect to such activities.

As with the tender process currently underway in Myanmar for onshore blocks, the announcement provides that foreign bidders for the 11 shallow water blocks will be required to “cooperate with” at least one local partner registered with the Energy Planning Department (“EPD”) (a list of such companies is available upon application to the EPD).

Importantly, however, there must be no local partnership in respect of the deep water blocks – a requirement that will be well-received by international bidders.