Exclusive: Chevron seeks buyers for Myanmar gas assets worth $1.3 billion - sources
By Denny Thomas and Anshuman Daga
HONG KONG/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - U.S. oil and gas major Chevron Corp has put its Myanmar gas block stakes worth an estimated $1.3 billion up for sale, banking sources familiar with the matter said, in what would mark the biggest M&A transaction involving the country's assets.
The sale is part of Chevron's efforts to preserve cash and retreat from non-core assets in the wake of sliding oil prices. It is also seen as setting the tone for deals in a country that investors hope will see continued reforms after a historic election win by Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy last year.
The sources said suitors could number about half a dozen and would likely include Australia's Woodside Petroleum, Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production, Japanese trading houses and Chinese companies.
"Companies understand that Myanmar is in a very good position as you have export markets like China and Thailand and a growing domestic market," said Adrian Pooh, a Singapore-based analyst at energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie.
"It's kind of one of the last few remaining exploration plays with good prospects as well."
The sources said buyers would be keen to acquire all three assets bundled together.
Chevron is working with an U.S investment bank on the deal, they added, declining to be identified as the sale process has not been made public. Chevron, which has been operating in Myanmar for two decades, declined to comment.
Woodside declined to comment on whether it was interested in Chevron's assets. But it highlighted its recent exploration successes in the Rakhine Basin, where it is the largest holder of acreage, as well as its partnerships across its six exploration blocks in Myanmar. Continued...