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Myanmar signs gas deal with South Korea, India, and China

Myanmar signs gas deal with South Korea, India, and China

Military-run Myanmar has signed a deal with South Korean and Indian companies to pipe natural gas from the energy-rich nation's offshore fields to China, state media reported yesterday.
The Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise inked the deal last Wednesday with South Korean companies Daewoo and Korea Gas Corporation and Indian energy firms ONGC Videsh and GAIL to supply gas to the China National United Oil Corporation.
"The agreement was signed to export natural gas to China from Shwe natural gas project at Block A-1 and A-3 at Rakhine coastal region through pipelines," the New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.
The paper gave no other details of the project, but Beijing media reported last month that China was planning to start construction on a gas pipeline to Myanmar in early 2009.
The two blocks are off the coast of western Rakhine state near the border with Bangladesh, where impoverished Myanmar has discovered huge reserves of natural gas which are helping prop up the military junta.
Myanmar, which has been ruled by the military since 1962, is under economic sanctions by the United States and Europe because of its human rights record and long-running detention of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
But the impact of the sanctions has been weakened as neighbours such as China, India and Thailand spend billions of dollars for a share of Myanmar's oil and gas reserves to solve energy problems at home.
China is a key ally of Myanmar, and is also the top buyer of its abundant natural resources including gems, jade, pearls, timber and gas.
Figures from 2006 showed that 13 foreign oil companies are working on 33 projects in the country, while gas exports earned the regime 2.7 billion dollars last year, a Myanmar newspaper has said.
The country's economy, however, has been crippled by decades of mismanagement, and Myanmar is one of the poorest nations in the world with per capita GDP well below that of nearby Laos and Bangladesh.


Updated : 2021-04-20 09:03 GMT+08:00