India faces competition for Myanmar gas
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India faces competition for Myanmar gas

India is pitted against China, South Korea and Thailand in the race to secure the huge gas found in offshore Myanmar.

india Updated: Sep 21, 2006 15:27 IST

India is pitted against China, South Korea and Thailand in the race to secure the huge gas found in offshore Myanmar.

While India, China and Thailand have proposed to lay pipelines to their respective countries for transporting gas from the Shwe gasfield in Bay of Bengal, South Korea has proposed to liquefy it and transport it in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG), industry sources said.

New Delhi has proposed to lay a 1,400-km India-Myanmar pipeline, originating from Sittwe (Akyab) in Myanmar and entering into India through Mizoram and would pass through Aizawl, Dispur and Guwahati in Assam, Siliguri in West Bengal to join the Jagdishpur-Haldia pipeline at Gaya in Bihar.

China on the other hand proposes to lay a 2,380-km long pipeline originating from Kyaukphyu in Myanmar and terminating at Ruili in China's Yunan province after passing through Pagun Tuywintanuag and Mandalay.

Thailand has proposed to a 1,100-km pipeline.

Myanmar is looking at a buyer who would pay the maximum price for the gas found in block A-1 and in adjacent A-3 block. In both the blocks, India's ONGC Videsh Ltd and GAIL hold 30 per cent stake.

Sources said the Indian offer was better than the Chinese price offer, as the length of pipeline was shorter. For transporting gas to Indian border, a pipeline of just 250-km length is to be laid in Myanmar while to do the same, China would require a 1,000-km line and Thailand would require 1,100-km pipeline.

The total project, which also includes 37 km of offshore component for transporting the fuel from the gasfields in the Bay of Bengal, would require an investment of about $3 billion.

The pipeline would pass from Sitwe along Kaladan river in Myanmar to Mizoram capital Aizawl. It would then enter Assam from Silchar and cross Guwahati and Tinsukhia before meeting the Haldia pipeline at Gaya.

Commercial production from A-1 block, home to Shwe field, which alone has been assessed by Houston-based consulting firm Ryder Scott Co to contain 2.88 trillion cubic feet to 3.56 trillion cubic feet of gas, was expected to commence by 2009.

First Published: Sep 21, 2006 15:27 IST