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Myanmar signs oil exploration pact with Chinese JV

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) -- Myanmar's state oil and gas company has signed an exploration contract with a Chinese-Myanmar joint venture.

The state-run Kyemon newspaper reported Sunday that the contract between Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise and Myanmar private company Aye Myint Khine Co. Ltd. working with China's EPI Holdings Ltd. covers an onshore exploration block in the Magway region of central Myanmar.

The production-sharing contract, signed Friday, is the first for onshore exploration involving a foreign oil company since an elected but military-backed government came to power last year.

Myanmar is conducting exploration activities with local and foreign companies in 49 onshore blocks and 26 offshore blocks. Natural gas from two huge offshore fields is Myanmar's largest export earner.