Crude Oil Found in Surface Ground in Kyaukpru

Kuayk Pru: Much crude oil has recently been found in the surface levels of the ground in Kyaukpru Township in western Burma's Arakan State, and local people from the area are traveling to the villages to drill for oil with traditional hand-dug well systems, reported a local resident.

"The crude oil is found in Ngalakyaun and Leikkhamaw Villages, which is seven miles from Kyaukpru, and some from our area who can afford it are now going to the villages and drilling the oil with an investment of two to three lakh kyat. They are obtaining at least four or five tanks from one well per day," said the resident.

He added that the wells are being hand dug using the traditional system that has been used in the area for some time, and the oil is being found after digging nearly 120 feet into the ground in those villages.

He also said that the land price in those villages and other nearby villages has gone up after the crude oil was found. There are people who have rented plots of land for four to five lakh kyat in order to drill oil.

It was also learned that many local people from Kyaukpru, as well as from the larger area, are interested in investing in the hand-dug oil drilling business in those areas after news began spreading that the oil is easily found after digging a relatively short distance into the ground.

The resident said, "It is like the oil is lying in the upper stratum of the ground because it is not necessary to dig very deep into the ground to find oil in those villages. The villagers there have found the oil after their occasional test drillings and there may be some natural effects under the ground causing the oil to be found again, because it had disappeared after being found and pumped for a decade long ago. The villagers from there believe they are gifted by god or a deity with the oil again."

He noted that he believed the oil is being found again because of the movement of the earth's stratums, causing oil streaks to reappear there in the villages again.

There are now nearly 50 oil wells being hand dug and producing crude oil in those villages.

A team of officials, including the district administrator, township administrator, police officers, and other departmental officers have visited the villages with a plan to collect official taxes from the oil drillers after hearing the news that oil was found again.

"I heard that the officials are planning to collect toll taxes from the drillers and finding a way to title the taxation as official, because they may face problems with the drillers if they tax unofficially and by force. I am sure of their plan because they have already taken the list of drillers from the village administrators," said a local social worker.

Kyaukpru Township in Arakan State is enriched with onshore crude oil fields and the local people in the township have been drilling the oil using their traditional hand-dug technique to earn their livelihoods since long ago. The oil was found in the Rainantaung area in the township and thousands of local people had engaged in drilling the oil from the area in the past.
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