India has lost out to China on import of natural gas from Myanmar offshore fields where Indian state-run firms have 30 per cent stake.
Myanmar government in February this year decided to sell gas from Blocks A-1 and A-3 to China through the pipeline route, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Murli Deora said in reply to a question in Lok Sabha.
India's ONGC Videsh Ltd has 20 per cent stake each in the two blocks while gas firm GAIL held 10 per cent apiece.
"Myanmar issued a Letter of Intent (LoI) on February 11, 2004, wherein GAIL was acknowledged as a preferential buyer of gas from these blocks. An MoU to this effect was signed between the two countries on March 9, 2006," he said.
In terms of the provision in the LoI and MoU, GAIL completed a detailed feasibility report for an onland pipeline from Myanmar passing through north-eastern states of India.
Myanmar Government on August 9, 2006 invited bids from prospective buyers like India, China and Thailand for export of gas. In October, the Myanmar government intimated none of the bids met its expectations. Subsequently, it invited bids for sale of 3.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG). GAIL again submitted its bid.
Deora said Myanmar Government subsequently informed that a part of gas from A-1 and A-3 was to be used to meet domestic demand and that the export option - LNG project or pipelines to India or Thailand - would be decided only after reassessment of reserves.
It was indicated that pipeline to China was not under consideration, he said, adding yet Myanmar in February agreed to export gas to China through an onland pipeline.