(EnergyAsia, April 18 2013, Thursday) — Myanmar’s Ministry of Energy is inviting international bids for production sharing contracts for 11 shallow and 19 deep-sea blocks, said law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.

Interested parties have until June 14 to submit expressions of interest for the blocks, said the firm, which has an office in Yangon under senior corporate associate Sally Austen. The detailed requirements for the submissions of interest are available on the ministry’s 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).

“Pre-qualified 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,” said Herbert Smith Freehills.

“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.”

The company said pre-qualified bidders will be permitted to submit proposals for up to any three offshore blocks covering 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).

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