Australian exporer Woodside Energy and Daewoo International of South Korea have made a second gas discovery for Myanmar in the Bay of Bengal after a first gas column was confirmed in the area in early January, energy explorers said in Dhaka on Monday.
The new gas discoveries in blocks A-6 and AD-7 located in the Rakhine Basin in the western offshore area of Myanmar near Bangladesh water territory.
Daewoo International is the operator of AD-7 and holds a 60 percent stake while the remainder is held by Woodside. The companies began exploration activities in the block on January 22 and reached a total depth of 3034m in Thalin-1A, according to the energy ministry.
The new find follows Woodside's discovery last month of a gas column of around 129m, with 15m of net gas pay, at the Shwe Yee Htun-1 well in Block A-6, in which it holds a 40 percent interest. Myanmar Petroleum Resources holds a 20pc stake while French firm Total holds 40pc.
The two discoveries at opposite ends of the Rakhine Basin are a "great result for the company", said Woodside CEO Peter Coleman in a statement.
"These results are very encouraging for future exploration and appraisal activity. [They] provide evidence of the high quality of offshore Myanmar as an exploration focus area," he said.
Daewoo and Woodside have agreed to facilitate further evaluation activities in AD-7 and will shoot 3D seismic campaigns for an additional 1200 sq km in March, Coleman said.
The companies will need more investment to confirm the commercial potential of the gas discoveries, said an adviser to Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).
Daewoo asked the energy ministry to extend the acreage of AD-7 in 2012 after a maritime border dispute between Myanmar and Bangladesh was resolved, he added.
Daewoo International is also the operator of the Shwe gas project in Rakhine offshore which began commercial production in 2013 and exports to China.
Australia-based Woodside is currently the largest acreage holder in the offshore Rakhine basin with interests in six blocks covering 47,000 sq km, representing 20pc of Woodside's global exploration acreage, the company said.
The drilling results of A-6 and AD-7 are likely to encourage the international oil companies beginning exploration activities in Myanmar offshore. A total of 13 international firms were awarded 10 shallow water blocks and 10 deep water blocks in 2013, Myanmar Times said in a report on Monday.
Myanmar had 300 billion cubic metres of proven natural gas reserves as of the end of 2014, and produced 16.8 billion cubic metres of gas that year, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, published in June 2015, the report said.