Snamprogetti studies Myanmar gas option for GAIL

Vol 8, PW 11 (25 Aug 04) People & Policy

GAIL has commissioned Snamprogetti of Italy to evaluate options for the import of Myanmar gas to India.

PETROWATCH learns Snamprogetti began work on 29th July and has been given a six-month deadline to submit a detailed report on the best option to import gas from the Arakans province of Myanmar to eastern India. GAIL has asked Snamprogetti to examine seven options: Overland pipeline through Bangladesh connecting Arakans with West Bengal Overland pipeline through Mizoram and Assam to link Arakans with northern Bengal Shallow water pipeline from Arakans skirting Bangladesh coast to enter West Bengal Subsea pipeline through the continental shelf within Bangladeshs exclusive economic zone Deepsea pipeline to West Bengal through the Bay of Bengal Liquefy the gas in Myanmar and ship it as LNG to Indias east coast Compress the gas and bring it as CNG to India GAIL believes the LNG and CNG options are only viable if substantial quantities of gas are discovered.

If at least 10m cm/d gas is available it would make sense to set up a liquefaction facility in the Arakans and a regassification unit close to Paradip port. GAIL believes value added products like butane, ethane and propane can be extracted at the liquefaction facility before sending lean gas as LNG to India.

GAIL is convinced that an overland pipeline through Bangladesh is the cheapest and technically most viable option. But GAIL is unsure if Dhaka will permit such a pipeline, given its sensitivity to anything concerning India.

Yet it takes heart from a recent assurance by Bangladesh finance minister Saifur Rehman to Indian leaders that the overland pipeline proposal is being actively looked at.

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