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U.S. Arco To Sell 29%-39% In Burma

13 November 1997
AP-Dow Jones News Service

SINGAPORE -- U.S. oil and gas company Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARC)
expects to reach an agreement by the end of 1997 to sell a 29%-39% stake
in the two exploration blocks offshore Burma, also known as Myanmar, an
Arco official close to the project told Dow Jones Friday.

'We have been looking for an additional partner for the project all
along,' and the sale would not be in response to political pressure from
the U.S. government, the official said.

Los Angeles-based Arco plans to retain at least a 55% stake in the blocks
and remain operator, he said.

However, the official said Arco is prevented from taking stakes in new
projects in Burma by trade sanctions the U.S. imposed in May this year on
the country.

Arco acts as operator and currently holds a 94% stake in offshore blocks
M7 and M9 in Burmese waters of the Andaman Sea. China's state-owned
Chinese National Offshore Oil Co. holds the remaining 6% stake.

Arco has spent about $55 million on the Burma project so far, drilling
two exploration wells on block M9.

One of the wells tested natural gas at a rate of 25 million cubic feet a
day, but it's too soon to say whether the discovery is commercially
viable, the Arco official said.

The company plans to conduct two-dimensional and three-dimensional
seismic evaluation of the discovery before drilling another well in block
M9 during the fourth quarter of 1998, the official added.

Blocks M7 and M9 lie east of the Yadana natural gas field in blocks M5
and M6. The Yadana field, operated by Total SA (F.TTL) of France, has
estimated recoverable gas reserves of 5 trillion cubic feet.

Total and its project partners plan to begin production of Yadana field
in July 1998, transporting the gas via pipeline to the Burmese coast and
on to Thailand under a long-term sales contract.

The Arco official said it's too early to say whether its discovery could
be tied in to the Yadana gas pipeline.

-By Campion Walsh; 65-421-4816; cwalsh@xxxxxx