Myanmar has awarded 10 shallow-water blocks and 10 deepwater blocks in an auction process that began in April last year, according to a posting on the ministry's website on Wednesday.
Winners of deepwater blocks will be able to explore and operate the blocks on their own, while shallow-water winners will need to work with a registered local partner, according to the terms of the production sharing contracts.
Myanmar's oil and gas sector attracts the largest share of foreign investment, accounting for $13.6 billion, or 40 percent, of total accumulated foreign investment through September, according to the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO).
Myanmar exported $3.7 billion worth of gas in the fiscal year to March 31, 2013, mostly to neighbouring Thailand, up from $3.5 billion the year before.
The country's proven natural gas reserves totalled 7.8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) at the end of 2012, according to BP's Statistical Review of World Energy.
A total of 160 local companies have registered with the Ministry of Energy as potential partners for winners of the shallow-water blocks, but industry sources say only a few of them have any oil and gas experience.
Contracts winners will have to complete environmental and social impact assessments and submit reports to the Investment Commission before starting operation.