New Delhi: Myanmar has decided to sell gas from its western offshore fields in the Bay of Bengal to China rather than India, a PTI news agency report announced on 21 March.
The two energy-hungry countries along with other Asian nations, have been jockeying for a share of Myanmar’s vast energy resources, weakening the impact of a patchwork of US and European sanctions on the military junta-run nation.
Myanmar informed an Indian delegation that it plans to sell China gas from two blocks that include the Shwe, Shwephyu and Mya fields.
A consortium of companies led by South Korea’s Daewoo, which has a 60% stake in the blocks, is carrying out exploration in the fields off the country’s Arakan coast.
India’s state-run exploration firms, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and the Gas Authority of India Ltd, hold a 30% stake in the two blocks, with Korea’s KoGas holding the remaining 10%, the report said.
India has been trying to negotiate a $3 bn (Rs13,500 crore) deal to run a pipeline 290 kilometres (180 miles) from Myanmar across Bangladesh to the eastern Indian city of Kolkata but failed to make much headway in the talks.
China has already assured the Myanmar government it will lay the 900 kilometres of pipeline required to transport the gas to its border.
The A-1 block containing the Shwe and Shwephyu fields is expected to produce 18mn cubic metres (635 million cubic feet) per day of gas.
Independent certifiers have confirmed some 144 bn cubic metres of gas reserves in the block. Volumes from the the A-3 block, which includes the Mya field, are still in the process of being confirmed by independent appraisers.
Myanmar plans to keep about 6mn cubic metres of gas for domestic use and export the remaining production to China.