OPEN LETTER TO THE GENERALS FROM NAYPYIDAW

Dear Generals,

U.S. Secretary of State has declared the U.S. Government’s policy towards Burma. Clinton said Wednesday that the release of  Aung San Suu Kyi could lead to increased US investment. It is unequivocal that the U.S. Administration is going to lift sanctions and start investing in Burma as soon as Ms. Suu Kyi is released.

You have been complaining about the U.S. sanctions imposed since 1988. What are you waiting for? Isn’t it time to have sanctions lifted and get more money into your pockets? If Aung San Suu Kyi is released, it will be killing two birds with one stone. Sanctions will be lifted and investments will pour in and the Burmese people in general will have employment opportunities. Tunnels being built with North Korea’s help can be stopped and the generals can move on and sleep with peace of mind.

Now that you are befriending with North Korea, the rogue state under the surveillance of more than a dozen U.S. intelligence agencies and U.S. Policy makers are thinking twice now. Shall we impose more sanctions on the Burmese generals? Both the Senate and the House will vote yes.

You, ignorant generals, should have a serious emergency meeting as soon as possible. Whatever advice you’ve been getting from China, Russia and North Korea are wrong.Forget about North Korea for the moment. Forget about the tunnels in the meantime. I know you never put people first and so think seriously. If you release Aung San Suu Kyi, sanctions will be lifted. Investments will pour in and the money will come into your hands and the riots and uprisings you fear more than U.S. invasion will no longer occur because people will be employed and prosper. End of story! Stop being paranoid and open up! You will feel better and safer and so will the people!

Sincerely,

Ethan Bourne
BurmaWatchUSA Editor

GAS DEALS (BURMA/CHINA/AUSTRALIA/US/THAILAND)

Thailand’s state-controlled PTT Exploration & Production (PTTEP) is the most interested potential buyer of unlisted Australian producer Coogee Resources, according to a report in the West Australian newspaper. The report claims that PTTEP is carrying out due diligence of Coogee and its assets, the most promising of which is the Montara oil project in the Timor Sea.

Timor Sea Assets
Coogee Resources’ Petroleum Titles and Interests
oilgas1_20081210
Source: Company Data

Coogee was put up for sale in October 2008 after the company’s second-largest shareholder Babcock & Brown decided to sell its 35% stake, prompting a number of unsolicited bids. A data room was set up for the sale by investment bank Goldman Sachs JBWere. The report in West Australian claims that companies initially interested in acquiring Coogee included Australian producer Woodside Petroleum, US independent Apache and Australian Worldwide Exploration. While other companies have been put off by Coogee’s AUD270mn of debt and concerns over the quality of its assets, PTTEP has spent the longest time in the data room, suggesting it is seriously considering making an offer.

Coogee’s assets are located in the Timor Sea, where its only output comes from the mature Jabiru-Challis offshore oil fields, which produced 450 barrels per day (b/d) of oil in H108. The company is currently developing the Montara oil project, its principal assets, which is near Jabiru-Challis. Montara has recoverable oil reserves of 24mn barrels (bbl), according to Coogee, while the satellite Skua, Swift and Swallow fields hold a combined 15mn bbl. As well as its plans for oil, Coogee aims to develop an offshore methanol project to commercialise the gas in its Timor Sea prospects.

According to PTTEP’s most recent strategy announcement from April 2008, the company plans to invest THB81.2bn ($2US.6bn) on exploration, development and production of 38 projects during 2008. Of that it intends to spend THB62.3bn (77%) on projects in Thailand, THB7.8bn (9%) in Myanmar, THB6bn (7%) in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), THB4.4bn (5%) in Vietnam and THB765mn in Indonesia, Cambodia and New Zealand. Should it decide to acquire Coogee, it would represent PTTEP’s first foray into the Australian market and would demonstrate a growing trend of Australian explorers and producers being snapped up by larger state-backed Asian national oil companies (NOCs), with the rumoured bid for Santos from China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) being the most pertinent recent example.