Italian energy firm Eni has expanded its exploration activities offshore Myanmar after signing two production sharing contracts (PSCs).

The contracts cover offshore blocks MD-02 and MD-04, both of which were awarded after the 2013 International Bid Round held by the country in 2014.

Block MD-02 is in the southern part of the Bay of Bengal, in the Rakhine basin, around 135km from the coast, west of the Yadana field. It covers a 10,330km² area in a water depth of 500m to 2,400m.

"The contracts signed today allow Eni to strengthen its presence in a country with a significant potential and a rapidly developing economy."

Block MD-04 is in the Moattama-South Andaman basin, approximately 230km from the coast, west of the Yetagun gas field. It covers a 5,900km² area in a water depth of 1,500m to 2,200m.

The contracts for both the blocks include a two-year study period, and an exploration period of six years.

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said: "With the contracts signed today, we have further expanded our exploration portfolio through new and important opportunities, which allow Eni to strengthen its presence in a country with a significant potential and a rapidly developing economy.

"Today we become one of the largest operators in the exploration activities in Myanmar, taking a further step in our organic growth strategy in Southeast Asia where we are already present, in China, Vietnam and Indonesia."

Eni started operations in Myanmar in July 2014, after signing the PSCs to explore two onshore blocks, RSF-5 and PSC-K, and the unexplored Pegu Yoma-Sittaung basin.