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  • 1.

    Describe, in general terms, the key commercial aspects of the oil sector in your country.

  • 2.

    What percentage of your country’s energy needs is covered, directly or indirectly, by oil or gas as opposed to nuclear or non-conventional sources? What percentage of the petroleum product needs of your country is supplied with domestic production?

  • 3.

    Does your country have an overarching policy regarding oil-related activities or a general energy policy?

  • 4.

    Is there an official, publicly available register for licences and licensees? Is there a register setting out oilfield ownership or operatorship, etc?

  • 5.

    Describe the general legal system in your country.

  • 6.

    Describe the key laws and regulations that make up the principal legal framework regulating oil and gas activities.

  • 7.

    Are there any legislative provisions that allow for expropriation of a licensee’s interest and, if so, under what conditions?

  • 8.

    May the government revoke or amend a licensee’s interest?

  • 9.

    Identify and describe the government regulatory and oversight bodies principally responsible for regulating oil exploration and production activities in your country. What sanctions for breach may be imposed by the regulatory and oversight bodies?

  • 10.

    What government body maintains oil production, export and import statistics?

  • 11.

    Who holds title over oil reservoirs? To what extent are mineral rights on private and public lands involved? Is there a legal distinction between surface rights and subsurface mineral rights? At what stage does title to extracted oil transfer to the licensee, lessee or contractor?

  • 12.

    What is the general character of oil exploration and production activity conducted in your country? Are areas off-limits to exploration and production?

  • 13.

    How are rights to explore and produce granted? What is the procedure for applying to the government for such rights? To what extent are the terms of licences or contracts negotiable?

  • 14.

    Does the government have any right to participate in a licence? If so, is there a maximum participating interest it can obtain and are there any mandatory carry requirements for its interest? What cost-recovery mechanism is in place to recover such carry? Does the government have any right to participate in the operatorship of a licence?

  • 15.

    If royalties are paid, what are the royalty rates? Are they fixed? Do they differ between onshore and offshore production? Aside from tax, are there any other payments due to the government? Are any tax stabilisation measures in place?

  • 16.

    What is the customary duration of oil leases, concessions or licences?

  • 17.

    For offshore production, how far seaward does the regulatory regime extend?

  • 18.

    Is there a difference between the onshore and offshore regimes? Is there a difference between the regimes governing rights to explore for or produce different hydrocarbons?

  • 19.

    Which entities may perform exploration and production activities? Describe any registration requirements. What criteria and procedures apply in selecting such entities?

  • 20.

    What controls does the regulatory body have over operators? Can operatorship be revoked?

  • 21.

    What is the legal regime for joint ventures?

  • 22.

    How does reservoir unitisation apply to domestic and cross-border reservoirs?

  • 23.

    Is there any limit on a party’s liability under a licence, contract or concession?

  • 24.

    Are parental guarantees or other forms of economic support common practice or a regulatory requirement? Are security deposits required in respect of any work commitment or otherwise?

  • 25.

    Must companies operating in your country prefer, or use a minimum amount of, locally sourced goods, services, capital or personnel?

  • 26.

    Describe any social programme payment obligations that must be made by a licensee, lessee or contractor.

  • 27.

    Is government consent required for a company to transfer its interest in a licence, concession or production sharing agreement? Does a change of control require similar approval? What is the process for obtaining approval? Are there any pre-emptive rights reserved for the government?

  • 28.

    Is government consent required for a change of operator?

  • 29.

    Are there any specific fees or taxes levied by the government on a transfer or change of control?

  • 30.

    Who holds title to facilities and equipment used for oil exploration, development and transportation activities during the term and on termination of a licence, PSC or service contract?

  • 31.

    What laws or regulations govern abandonment and decommissioning of oil and gas facilities and pipelines? In summary, what is the obligation and liability regime for decommissioning? Are there any other relevant issues concerning decommissioning?

  • 32.

    Are security deposits required in respect of future decommissioning liabilities? If so, how are such deposits calculated and when does their payment become due?

  • 33.

    How is transportation of crude oil and crude oil products regulated within the country and across national boundaries? Do different government bodies and authorities regulate pipeline, marine vessel and tanker truck transportation?

  • 34.

    Where oil exploration and production activities are conducted under a production sharing contract, describe how recoverable costs can be determined and how recovery can be realised.

  • 35.

    What health, safety and environment requirements apply to upstream oil-related facility operations onshore and offshore? What government body is responsible for this regulation; what enforcement authority does it wield? What kind of record-keeping is required? What are the penalties for non-compliance?

  • 36.

    Must a minimum amount of local labour be employed? What are the visa requirements for foreign labour? Are there anti-discrimination requirements? What are the penalties for non-compliance?

  • 37.

    What is the tax regime applicable to oil exploration, production, transportation, and marketing and distribution activities? What government body wields tax authority?

  • 38.

    Is there a mandatory price-setting regime for crude oil or crude oil products? If so, what are the requirements and penalties for non-compliance?

  • 39.

    What government bodies have the authority to prevent or punish anticompetitive practices in connection with the extraction, transportation, refining or marketing of crude oil or crude oil products?

  • 40.

    What is the process for procuring a government determination that a proposed action does not violate any competition laws? How long does the process generally take? What are the penalties?

  • 41.

    Who holds title to seismic data collected during the term of and on termination of a licence, PSC or service contract? Can the regulator require the data owner to report or release the data?

  • 42.

    To what extent is regulatory policy or activity affected by international treaties or other multinational agreements?

  • 43.

    Are there special requirements or limitations on the acquisition of oil-related interests by foreign companies or individuals? Must foreign investors have a local presence?

  • 44.

    Do special rules apply to cross-border sales or deliveries of crude oil or crude oil products? Are there any volumetric supply obligations for the local market that prevail over the export rights of the oil producer?

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Myanmar Legal Services Limited (MLSL) has been in practice since 1998. The firm offers a broad range of legal advice and assistance on local and international commercial transactions, and on doing business in Myanmar.

View more information about Myanmar Legal Services Limited

43(A) Malikha Street (off Parami Road)
Mayangone Township
T: +95 1 650 740 / +95 1 652 139
F: +95 1 650 466


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