Scots firms seek out new opportunities in Myanmar, Asia’s ‘final frontier’

Country is thought to have significant untapped oil and gas and wider business potential

A number of Scottish firms are bound for Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), which is thought to have vast underdeveloped oil and gas reserves in deep water similar to that of the North Sea, in a bid to identify trade, investment and collaboration opportunities in the market.
Their trip, which is the first ever delegation of Scottish companies to Myanmar, is being headed up by Dr Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise and chair of Scotland’s Energy Jobs Taskforce.
Myanmair has been hailed as Asia’s final frontier after recently opening its doors to international trade and investment following decades of military rule.
Currently serviced by other markets such as Singapore and Thailand, the Myanmar Government is keen to develop its own indigenous oil and gas industry and wants to capitalise on foreign investment and technology to build local capacity and expertise.
Joining Dr Wilson on the visit to Myanmar this week includes some of Scotland’s largest companies including global temporary power company Aggreko, who is already active in the market, as well as North East oil and gas firms Wood Group, ASCO and Bibby Offshore.
The delegation will meet with the Myanmar’s new minister for Energy and Electricity, Mr Pe Zin Tun, as well as leading local and international oil and gas companies already active in Myanmar to explore key opportunities in the local supply chain.
Wilson said: “Scotland and Myanmar have strong historic connections going right back to the 19th century when Scottish owned Burmah Oil Company became the first company to drill for oil in the country in 1886.
“Myanmar now stands at exciting phase of its own oil and gas development – much like Aberdeen did in the 1970s – with huge natural resources to capitalise on but to grow its local industry, it will need access to technology, skills and expertise across the whole supply chain from seismic surveying and engineering design right through to project management, health and safety and training and education.
“These are all core strengths of Scotland’s oil and gas industry built up through 50 years of experience of working in the North Sea. We have a real opportunity now to show how Scotland can help support Myanmar to build the capacity it needs while at the same time providing much needed international opportunities for our own industry.”
The trade mission follows a visit by a Myanmar delegation to Offshore Europe in Aberdeen last year, which visited a number of Scottish companies including Wood Group in Aberdeen and ASCO’s supply base in Peterhead.
Following the visit to Myanmar, Wilson will then travel to Vietnam along with some of the Scottish companies to identify potential opportunities in what is a more established oil and gas market but still relatively untapped by Scottish companies.
About the Energy Jobs Taskforce
The Energy Jobs Taskforce was established in January 2015 to help tackle the challenges the oil and gas industry is facing which have been exacerbated by the falling oil price.
It’s a strong united partnership of public and private sector members who collectively are providing a co-ordinated response and package of support to retain, and where possible grow, the level of employment, skills and talent which is the foundation of Scotland’s internationally competitive energy industry.
The Taskforce aims to help safeguard the decades of skills and experience built up in Scotland’s oil and gas industry and help put in place the most effective and efficient operating environment to ensure the sector is even stronger and more internationally competitive as the oil price begins to recover.
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