Limited depth in oil drill bill hurts workers

MPs of the Amyotha Hluttaw debated over the controversial artisanal oil drill bill, warning that the new depth allowed by the bill would adversely affect the livelihood of workers and small-scale operators.
During the debate at the parliament yesterday in Nay Pyi Taw, U Kyaw Swe of Magway Region Constituency-11 pointed out that the bill the shortened the depth for drilling from 1,800 feet to 1200 feet.
Crude oil can usually be struck at a depth of 1,800 feet, 1,900 feet and 2,000 feet in Myaing and Pauk townships, said the lawmaker, quoting the workers he met in the oilfields during a field trip.
“It can be assumed that the designation of the depth for drilling in the bill can cause job losses, corruption and loss of taxes for the country and hinder the development of the private businesses,” said U Kyaw Swe.
The MP also expressed his hope that the Union Government would provide technical assistance to the murky industry of artisanal oil drilling so that the people can do their work under the umbrella of the law.
He suggested a depth of not more than 2,000 feet in the bill instead of not more than 1,000 feet.
MP Dr Kyaw Ngwe of Magway Region constituency-10 also suggested the allowance of a depth between 1,500 feet and 2,000 feet.
Two other MPs also debated the bill, suggesting to amend the depth allowed by the bill.
The parliamentary bill committee decided to hear the bill again.
Hand-dug wells are widespread in Magway, Sagaing, Ayayarwady and Yangon regions.—Myanmar News Agency

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