Daewoo starts exploring gas export routes to China

Vol 9, PW 20 (26 Jan 06) People & Policy

Fears that China is spreading its influence in Myanmar are very real.

In Delhi alarm bells are ringing over intelligence reports of a joint visit by Daewoo executives and Myanmar government officials to a town on the border of the gas-rich Arakan state. PETROWATCH learns the team visited the town of Taungup from 21st to 24th December, to inspect potential gas export routes from Arakan to China.

Daewoo is operator at the gas-rich shallow-water A-1 block offshore Arakans and at A-3 block, where GAIL and ONGC Videsh have a combined 30% stake in each block. Taungup is some 30-km inland from the coast.

We hear the four-member Daewoo team included a South Korean geologist and the executive directly overseeing work at the Daewoo-operated A-1 and A-3 blocks. Two officials represented state-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise: Nan Maung and San Paw.

Asia Wealth, a private firm, sent two executives: Kyaw San Hla and Myo Khin Tun while of the two officials from Myanmars public construction department one was Wai Moe. On 21st December, the team visited Magaee Kyan, an offshore island between Taungup and Manaung to inspect waterways in the area and was met by the commander of the Myanmar armys western command: General Khin Maung Myint.

On the following day, the delegation inspected the route between Maee-Latt Pann-Linn Ree-Lae Tuu in Taungup. The next day was spent inspecting the route between Taungup and Mindon, Magway Division in central Myanmar.

According to a reliable source, the tentative plan is to transport gas through a pipeline that will run from the sea through the mountains in Arakan from Taungup to Mindon in central Myanmar. From Mindon, the pipeline will run through Minbu, Yenangyaung, Kyaukpadaung, Popa, and Pyin Oo Lwin into Shan state.

In Shan state, the gas pipeline will pass through Nawnghkio, Kyaukme, Hsipaw, Lashio, Hseni, and Mu-Se and into Yunan in China. Though there has been some initial planning carried out, no official announcement has been made regarding the pipeline from either the Myanmar government or the businesses involved.

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