The energy sector is the great, untapped potential on which much of Myanmar’s hopes are pinned. One of the world’s first oil producers, Myanmar is emerging in the 21st century as a key producer of natural gas. The country’s vast rivers are also well suited to hydroelectric dams. The lion’s share of sector investment has been aimed at the export market as low electric tariffs and an inefficient centrally planned gas distribution system limit expansion of the public energy grid. Already the main source of the country’s electric power production, hydropower output has the potential to be boosted 40 times. Myanmar faces challenges, however, with an underpowered and overloaded energy grid. Furthermore, the pace of new supply additions is unlikely to keep pace with rapidly growing domestic and international demand. Over the longer term, offshore gas exploration is set to bear substantial fruit and large hydropower projects are expected to be revived, which will ultimately accelerate industrial development.
This chapter contains interviews with U Khin Maung Soe, Union Minister, Ministry of Electric Power; U Zay Yar Aung, Minister of Energy; U Moe Myint, Chairman and CEO, MPRL E&P, and CEO, Myint & Associates; Jean-Marie Guillermou, Senior Vice-President Asia Pacific, Total Exploration & Production; and Ken Tun, CEO, Parami Energy Group of Companies.