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Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil, ConocoPhillips, and Total have all won rights to explore for oil and gas off Myanmar, according to the country’s Ministry of Energy.

10 shallow-water blocks and 10 deepwater blocks have been awarded in an auction process that began in April  2013.

The deepwater blocks will be explore and operate independently, and shallow-water blocks will need to work with a registered local partner, according to the terms of the production sharing contracts.

A total of 160 local companies have registered with the Ministry of Energy as potential partners for winners of the shallow-water blocks.

Many of these companies are believed to be inexperienced.

According to Myanmar’s Central Statistical Organization, the oil and gas sector attracts the lion share of foreign investment for the country, accounting for $13.6 billion (40 percent) of total accumulated foreign investment through September.

Total exports reached $3.7 billion for 2013, primarily to its neighbor Thailand.

Get access to all the Myanmar oil and gas legislation on Oil Patch Laws.