NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, April 24 (UPI) -- Production sharing contracts for energy companies tasked with exploring Myanmar's onshore reserves should be signed in May, a planning official said Thursday.
More than a dozen blocks for onshore development were awarded to international energy companies during an October auction. Khin Khin Aye, director of energy planning at the Myanmar Ministry of Energy, said the government was working according to normal procedures.
"We will sign the production sharing contracts in the middle of May," he told the energy news website Rigzone.
International investors have moved into the wake created when Myanmar earned relief from economic sanctions when in 2010 it ended a long period of military rule through general elections. Human rights groups have said it was those sanctions that brought about reforms in the first place.
Last month, the government awarded some of the biggest energy companies in the world with exploration contracts for frontier territory off the Myanmar coast.
The first barrel of oil was exported from Myanmar in 1853, though the country's energy sector was largely idled during the long period of military rule. French energy company Total, a pioneer developer in Myanmar, estimates the country produces about 180,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and nearly all of that is in the form of natural gas.