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SHWE Gas Movement News

Check back here often to stay abreast of the most recent SHWE Gas Movement-related news.

 

Compensation for gas field fire demanded

From The Daily Star, Bangladesh
January 28, 2005
link to this article.

Leaders of the Student-Youth Movement to Resist Plundering of Oil-Gas yesterday demanded compensation for the damage caused by Tengratila gas field fire and Magurchhara gas explosion.

They also called for cancellation of all unequal agreements with the multinational companies. At a press meet in the city, the leaders criticised the government for not promoting the national interest and demanded resignation of the state minister for energy and mineral resources.

Kamrul Alam Sabuj, coordinator of the Movement, read out a written statement and placed a seven-point demand. Speaking at the programme, economist Dr Anu Muhammad said the government should not allow those oil and gas companies that do not have the capacity to extinguish fire.
Criticising the unequal agreements, he said, "We have to buy our gas from the multinational companies at a six-fold higher price because of such agreements."

Economist MM Akash said Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company (Bapex) seems more efficient than multinational companies as no accident took place during explorations by it. Secretary General of Bangladesh Economic Association Dr Abul Barakat and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal leader Shirin Akhter also spoke.

Leaders of All Arakan Student and Youth Congress, an alliance against plundering of natural resources of Myanmar, also attended the press meet.
They protested the ongoing discussion in Yangon among the energy ministers of Bangladesh, India and Myanmar on gas pipeline from Myanmar to India through Bangladesh territory.

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Consortium Signs 3 Oil Deals With Myanmar

From Associated Press
January 27,2005
link to this article.

A Chinese-Singaporean consortium signed three production-sharing contracts Tuesday with Myanmar's state oil company to explore for oil and gas, state-run media reported Thursday.

The consortium - which signed the contracts Wednesday with state-run Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise - comprises China National Offshore Oil Company Myanmar Ltd., China Huanqiu Contracting and Engineering Corp., and Golden Aaron Pte Ltd. of Singapore, reported the Myanma Ahlin daily.

Two onshore blocks, C-1 and C-2, are located in Sagaing Division in the northwestern part of the country, while the M-2 offshore block is in the Gulf of Mottama - also known as the Gulf of Martaban_ along southeastern Myanmar, the newspaper reported.

Terms of the deal were not reported.

The same consortium signed production sharing contracts with Myanmar in October and December last year for oil-and-gas exploration onshore in western Myanmar, off its western Rakhine coast, as well as in the Gulf of Mottama.

The signing of Wednesday's contracts came two weeks after a meeting of energy ministers from Myanmar, India and Bangladesh, at which Myanmar and India signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the petroleum sector.

Myanmar also agreed to export natural gas to India by pipeline through Bangladesh.

Myanmar began allowing foreign investment in 1988 and has deals with Total of France, Unocal of the United States, Petronas of Malaysia, Thailand's PTTEP, and Daewoo of South Korea.

It also has agreements with oil companies from India, Australia, Canada and Indonesia.

A Korean-Indian consortium announced last year it discovered an estimated 119 billion to 164 billion cubic meters (4.2 trillion-5.8 trillion cubic feet) of gas deposits off the Rakhine coast.

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Burma and multinational companies: who profits

From Scoop
January 26, 2005
link to this article.

The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) today released a new report on business with Burma. The 28-page document, entitled "Doing Business with Burma", concentrates on investment in and trade with Burma and shows how foreign business relationships with Burma - by large and small multinational companies - generate vast profits for the country's military dictators. The ICFTU simultaneously released an updated version of its Burma company database, which now contains the names of some 440 multinational companies, adding over 40 new names.

Burma is the only country in the world for which the international trade union movement calls for disinvestment. The newest ICFTU report on investment and trade with Burma is essentially a research overview, based on facts and details complied from over 40 different sources (news items, reports by governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations and individual researchers). It demonstrates conclusively that investing in Burma is not possible without the agreement of the junta. It also shows how the regime systematically steers business operations, especially the most profitable, towards joint ventures with state-owned companies.

The "secretive and corrupt" business environment in Burma lacks all forms of transparency, according to the report. Whether or not companies are directly owned by the military makes no real difference. Where the former are owned by the army, many of the latter are owned by high ranking military figures, in their "private capacity", or by their relatives and cronies. Over the last 15 years the military dictatorship in Burma has moved itself into a position of virtual control over all aspects of the business sector.
Figures quoted in the report indicate an overall reduction in investment in Burma over the last few years. More and more people, companies and countries are recognising that investing in or trading with Burma makes no sense - either in moral nor in business terms. Regrettably, a small number of neighbouring countries, in part because of regional power-plays, refuse to follow that trend. Business interests from China, India, Thailand and some of the other neighbouring ASEAN countries are stepping in where others are moving out.

The report provides numerous concrete examples of what the Burmese junta spends the income on, for example over 40% of its national budget goes to military expenditure. It also recalls the army's responsibility for a host of human rights abuses, including the widespread and continuing use of forced labour. The report also highlights what the government does not do with the money, spending only 0.3% of GDP on health care.

Among the many different topics covered by the report, the ICFTU also addresses issues such as corruption, transparency, drug traffic and arbitrary taxation, as well as the junta's bogus claims that economic sanctions affect "18 million workers".

The ICFTU has also updated its list of companies with business links to Burma. This list now contains the names of around 440 multinational enterprises. The addition of new companies is the result of continuous research, and not an actual indicator of increased corporate interest in Burma. Some of the better known new names are China PetroChemical Corp. (Sinopec), China Telecom, Lloyd's of London, Rolls Royce and the State Bank of India.

Many large multinational companies have left the country over the last few years. However, some companies, such as South-Korea's Daewoo International, Austrian Airlines, SWIFT (Belgium), Total (France), Unocal (USA), Suzuki (Japan) or Ivanhoe Mines (Canada) still maintain their links with Burma.

As a country, Burma continues to be one of the worst human and workers' rights offenders in the world. In spite of some minor positive steps in recent years, partly the result of international pressure, very little has fundamentally changed in the way the Burmese dictators treat their citizens. Claims of progress made by the military have been merely cosmetic, and are followed by a new wave of brutal repression. This repression includes violence against religious and ethnic minorities, forced relocation, beatings, child labour, rape and murder. All of them continue on a daily basis. A high number of political prisoners remain in prison. Forced labour, one of the largest problems, is still routinely resorted to by the military.

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Foreign firms sign more oil, gas contracts with Myanmar

From Xinhua
January 25, 2005
link to this article.

A consortium comprising two Chinese and one Singaporean companies reached three contracts with Myanmar here Tuesday on cooperation in oil and natural gas exploration in two onshore and one offshore block areas.

The contracts were signed by the China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) Myanmar Ltd, Golden Aaron Pte. Ltd of Singapore, China Huanqiu Contracting and Engineering Corporation and state- run Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise, Under the contracts, oil and gas exploration will be carried out at over 17,000-square-kilometer onshore Block C-1 (Indaw-Yenan area) and over 26,000-square-kilometer onshore Block C-2 (Shwebo- Monywa area) in northwestern Sagaing division, and over 9,600- square-kilometer Block M-2 in the Mottama offshore area in southern Tanintharyi division.

This is the third time for the consortium to sign contracts with Myanmar. The first was signed last October on similar activities at onshore Block-M of 7,760 square-kilometers in the Rakhine state's Kyaukpyu area, while the second was singed last December on over 10,000-square-kilometer Block A-4 in western Rakhine state and 15,534-square-kilometer Block M-10 in the Mottama offshore area.

With 19 onshore and three main large offshore oil and gas fields, Myanmar possesses a total of 2.46 trillion cubic meters ( TCM) of gas reserve and 3.2 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil reserve in the country's offshore and onshore areas, according to official statistics.

The Central Statistical Organization statistics show that Myanmar produced 9.9 billion cubic meters (BCM) of gas and 7.16 million barrels of crude oil in fiscal year 2003-04. Gas export during the year went to 5.66 BCM, earning nearly 600 million dollars, while crude oil import worth 13.18 million dollars the same year.

Since Myanmar opened to foreign investment in late 1988, such investment in the sector had reached 2.5 billion dollars as of the beginning of 2004, the figures also reveal. Foreign oil companies engaged in the oil and gas sector mainly include those from Australia, Britain, Canada, China, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Malaysia and Thailand.

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Details will decide Myanmar deal's success

From The Financial Express, India
January 24, 2005
link to this article.

Petroleum minister Mani Shankar Aiyar's ability to forge an alliance with Bangladesh and Myanmar to help quench the country's thirst for gas is commendable. However, there are concerns that the gains on the diplomacy front are not backstopped with firm commercial footings. The question is whether the MoU between the three countries involving movement of gas from Myanmar to India through Bangladesh by pipeline makes commercial sense.

It will, provided the Indian consumer finds the price competitive vis-a-vis substitutes. So far, there have been no discussions on the gas price and yet, the MoU has been inked! Blame it on strategy, for proponents of the pipeline project feel the MoU will provide for expediency when commercial contracts get underway. Will our aggression be misconstrued as desperation to secure gas? Foreign minister Natwar Singh cautioned Mr Aiyar last month on this very issue, for energy security in the absence of commercial underpinnings is a bad concept.

Now, back to the Myanmar gas deal. Last month, the Myanmar oil minister indicated to the Indian delegation that they were currently selling gas to Thailand at $3.8 per mmbtu. If this is any indication to go by, then Indian consumers will pay a delivered price as high as $5.5 per mmbtu in eastern India, for the gas traverses a fairly long distance through pipeline. In contrast, gas from Iran will reach Indian shores at a ceiling price of $4.1 per mmbtu in a few years' time, undergoing a more expensive process of liquefaction, travel through high seas and finally regassification on Indian shores. So, let's hope that the Indian team is able to extract a better price.

Do we have a cohesive team to deliver? Consider this. Last year, OVL, the ONGC subsidiary, tried to pick up a stake in a block in Myanmar. At the last minute, they were finessed out. Following this, the petroleum ministry wrote to all the oil PSUs to stay away from Myanmar, suggesting the existing stake of OVL and GAIL in a gas block be monetised and no gas be brought to India. But defying its largest shareholder, GAIL has gone ahead and single-handedly negotiated with Myanmar! It is betting that the finds from the adjacent field will ensure volumes to justify a transnational pipeline. Even if it does secure gas supplies, can it beat down the price?

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Gas Deal Wins Kudos, But Activists Warn of Rights Abuses

Ranjit Devraj
From Inter Press Service
January 18, 2005
link to this article.

While a new trilateral deal for Burma to export natural gas to India through Bangladesh augurs well economically for New Delhi, activists warned that the Burmese military regime could implement the project using forced labour.

Last Thursday, in what was seen as a major breakthrough in regional cooperation, India, Burma and Bangladesh announced in a joint-statement that they would participate in the construction of a gas pipeline from Burma's Shwe natural gas field, in the Gulf of Bengal, which would benefit all three countries.

''The government of Burma agrees to export natural gas to India by pipeline through the territory of Bangladesh and India to be operated by an international consortium as may be agreed upon by the parties concerned,'' said the joint-statement released in the Burmese capital Rangoon.

India's Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Mani Shankar Aiyar explained that the deal allowed flexibility for natural gas to be both injected and siphoned out of the pipeline.

Besides Burma, he said, gas from fields in Bangladesh and in India's north-eastern state of Tripura could carried in the pipeline.

But as Aiyar toasted the deal with Bangaldesh's Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources A.K.H. Mosharraf Hossain and Burma's Energy Minister Brigadier General Luln Thi, the Shwe Gas Campaign Committee (India), led by Burmese dissidents, called on the Indian government to postpone the project.

''We want India to see the suffering that the project will cause to the people of Burma,'' said the statement issued by the committee.

''It's not that we do not want India to have a relationship with Burma but we are simply asking India to wait until Burma gains democracy,'' it added.

According to the group, Burma will implement the project using forced labour, forced relocation and a large military deployment to protect the gas pipeline.

'' This will result in rape and other human rights violations,'' said the dissidents.

The U.S.-based environmental lobby group Earth Rights International (ERI) pointed out in a report last August that there were an alarming number of similarities between the Yadana pipeline and the proposed Shwe pipeline.

''Forced labour and human rights abuses are still an ongoing problem throughout Burma, and it can be assumed that these violations will continue at any major development project site,'' said ERI.

Last December, a ground-breaking settlement was reached between the energy giant Unocal and Burmese villagers in connection with the Yadana gas pipeline project.

The settlement reached in a U.S. court will compensate 14 Burmese villagers who first sued Unocal in 1996, claiming it should be held liable for enforced labour, murder and rape allegedly carried out by the Burmese military during the construction of the 1.2 billion U.S. dollar Yadana pipeline in the country.

The action was brought against Unocal, which is based at El Segundo in California, on the grounds that it benefited from the Burmese government's activity even if it did not endorse it. Legal experts now point out that the settlement may have major ramifications for other multinationals operating in Burma.

Presently, the Shwe pipeline consortium is comprised of four entities. Daewoo International (60 percent stake) and the Korean Gas Corporation (10 percent) are both incorporated in South Korea, while India is represented by the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Videsh Ltd and the Gas Authority of India Ltd (all having at total of a 30 percent stake).

On June 5, last year, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) announced that it planned to re-instate sanctions against Burma should the regime fail to make significant progress towards eradicating the use of forced labour.

The regime in Burma - officially known as Myanmar - seized power in a 1962 coup. International human rights groups point out that in the absence of significant political and institutional reforms, the end to forced labour is unlikely.

More than anything, India views Burma as a reliable alternative source of energy for its power-hungry industries.

According to minister Aiyar, India's demand for gas would reach 400 million standard cubic meters per day by the year 2025 necessitating a constant search for energy sources.

The Shwe natural gas pipeline deal contrasts with a decade-old wrangle over the proposed Indo-Iranian pipeline that must transit through Pakistan - a country with which India has been having a long-standing dispute over the territory of Kashmir.

Aiyar has said that the Indo-Iranian pipeline, expected to cost four billion U.S. dollars and also earn Pakistan 500 million U.S. dollars annually in transit fees, could work only as part of an overall improvement of economic ties between the South Asian neighbours.

Fears expressed by New Delhi that the pipeline could be held hostage by political instability in the region was borne out last week when tribals sabotaged Pakistan's key Sui gas fields in the Baluchistan province crippling industrial activity and necessitating supply cuts for domestic user in the port city of Karachi.

In terms of risk, therefore, India's investment in Burma's Shwe gas pipeline presents little problems.

According to Prof. Ganganath Jha, a South-east Asia expert at the New Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University, the investment in Burma is integral to India's policy of shifting attention from the oil-rich, but strife-ridden countries of the Middle East to the stable economies of South-east Asia that also happen to be richly endowed with natural resources.

''Projects like the gas pipeline from Myanmar will undoubtedly go a long way in opening up the eastern region and help landlocked countries like Nepal and Bhutan and improve conditions in India's long-neglected north-east,'' Jha told IPS.

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Deal reached on Myanmar gas for India via Bangla

From Indian Express
January 14, 2005
link to this article.

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 13: Within a week of India sealing a $40 bn LNG deal with Iran, Bangladesh today agreed to make space for a $1 bn 290-km gas pipeline that will run from Myanmar all the way to Kolkata.

The breakthrough was achieved in a tripartite meeting between Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, Myanmar's Minister for Energy Brig Gen Lun Thi and Bangladesh State Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources A K M Mosharraf Hossain in Yangon.
As part of the agreement, Bangladesh, which had sought the right to access hydro-electricity from Nepal and Bhutan through Indian territory and a corridor to supply commodities to these countries, has reserved the right to inject and siphon off gas from the pipeline.

Briefing reporters from Yangon, Aiyar said that while Bangladesh can transit its own gas, India can use the line to move gas from North East to West Bengal and Bihar.
Bangladesh will earn about $125 million annually as transit fee of the pipeline, which will run though Arakan in Myanmar, Mizoram and Tripura before crossing Bangladesh to Kolkata. India will also ''favourably'' examine Bangladesh's request for transit right to Bhutan and Nepal, Aiyar said.

According to Aiyar, ''it is a triumph because for the first time in 30 years, Bangladesh has agreed to its territory being used for transport of any commodity.''
Aiyar said the pipeline is one of several options being considered by India to access gas reserves at a Shwe field block in offshore Myanmar, as well as volumes that are expected to be discovered in the adjacent block.

In both the blocks, OVL has 20 per cent stake and Gail has 10 per cent.
South Korea's Daewoo is the operator of both the blocks.

''Some gas might come in form of compressed natural gas (CNG) in ships, which can make two round trips from Myanmar to east coast of India every day. We could also do it by putting up a liquefication plant (in Myanmar) and exporting LNG to India and other countries,'' said Aiyar.

Myanmar has huge natural gas reserves and ''we are keeping all options open and neither is mutually exclusive,'' said Aiyar.

India, Bangladesh and Myanmar also agreed to form a techno-commercial committee to go into issues such as size, length, routing, pricing and quality of gas.
''The route of the pipeline may be determined by mutual agreement of the three governments with a view to ensuring adequate access, maximum security and optimal economic utilisation,'' said Aiyar.

The first meeting of the committee will be held in Yangon on February 7 to prepare a draft MoU that will be signed in Dhaka by March-end or early April, Aiyar said.

However, the Minister did not indicate any timeframe for the construction of the pipeline. "The pipeline construction, operation and maintenance will be taken by an international consortium," said Aiyar, adding that details would be worked out by the committee.

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India, Bangladesh, Myanmar agree in principle to gas pipeline

From The China Daily
Thu Jan 13,2005
link to this article.

YANGON (AFP) - India, Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed in principle to cooperate in a gas exploration and overland pipeline project that would send gas to energy-hungry India, state media reported.

A meeting of ministers from the neighbouring countries took place Wednesday in Yangon.
"The responsible energy ministers of the three countries agreed to cooperate to explore, drill and develop the offshore natural gas field in western Myanmar as well as to pipe the gas to India through Bangladesh," the official New Light of Myanmar reported in its local language edition.

On Tuesday, India's Oil Minister Mani Shankar Aiyer said signals from the other nations suggested "there should not be much problem in arriving at an agreement."
A petroleum sector analyst in Yangon familiar with the discussions said it could take up to two years to finalise contracts for the project, with pricing, right of way, and environment issues the key concerns.

India, which last week struck a 25-year deal to import 7.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas a year from Iran from 2009, is looking for more fuel as demand soars with rapid economic growth.

India is predicted to require 400 million standard cubic meters of gas per day by 2025, up from today's 90 million standard cubic meters. The pipeline was one of several options India has been considering to bring gas reserves from the Shwe Field's Block A-1 site.

India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation has a 20 percent stake in Myanmar's A-1 and A-3 Blocks, while the Gas Authority of India has a 10 percent stake in the two sites.

The Press Trust of India news agency has said Bangladesh was likely to earn about 125 million dollars annually in transit fees from the proposed pipeline. The pipeline would run through Arakan (Rakhine) state in Myanmar via the Indian states of Mizoram and Tripura before crossing Bangladesh to the northeastern Indian city of Calcutta, it said.

Myanmar earns some 400 million dollars per year from its annual gas sales to neighbour Thailand from its Yadana and Yetagun gas fields in the south, the analyst said.

"Opening the market to the west (India) would significantly increase earnings from gas which is already Myanmar's number one foreign exchange earner," he said.

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Tripartite Gas Pipeline Talks Today

Nilofar Suhrawardy
From Arab News
12 January 2005
link to this article.

NEW DELHI :Within a week of India warming up to Saudi Arabia in oil diplomacy and signing a 25-year deal with Iran, Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar is exploring new horizons in the same field. Before leaving for Yangon, to hold talks with his counterparts from Bangladesh and Myanmar, Aiyar said yesterday: "We are having a tripartite meeting of energy ministers from India, Bangladesh and Myanmar in Yangon on Jan. 12 to see how gas from Myanmar could flow from India through a land pipeline."
"The idea is to explore the possibility of Myanmar-India gas pipeline," he said.
Compared to around 90 million standard cubic meters of liquefied natural gas available today, India's demand is expected to increase to 400 million standard cubic meters by 2025. A Myanmar-India gas pipeline is one of the several options being considered by Delhi to bring gas reserves from Block A-1 in offshore Myanmar as well as volumes that are expected to be discovered in its adjacent block A-3. While stake of ONGC Videsh Ltd is 20 percent in both blocks, that of GAIL (India) is 10 percent. South Korea's Daewoo is operator of both blocks.
Given that Bangladesh would earn $125 million annually as transit fee for the pipeline and that it would open employment opportunities for millions of Bangladeshis, it should not have objections to the pipeline. However, Bangladesh is not likely to easily accept the offer without laying its own conditions.
Dhaka is interested in the pipeline being laid along Bangladesh's existing roads and highways and that the project be jointly managed by it and India. It also wants India to allow Bangladesh to use the pipeline to export gas to India or import it from Myanmar.
In principle, Bangladesh has no objection to the proposed pipeline passing through its territory if it is built on mutually beneficial terms, sources said. Some conditions include its right to management of the pipeline.
Besides, Bangladesh is expected to reiterate its long pending request of being permitted land transit to Nepal and import of hydro-electricity from Nepal and Bhutan. Issues such as royalty and nature of ownership of the pipeline project would also be extensively deliberated upon before a deal is done.

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Talks to explore possibility of India-Myanmar pipeline

From Reliance News, India
January 11, 2005
link to this article.

New Delhi will hold talks with Dhaka and Yangon tomorrow to explore the possibility of laying a natural gas pipeline from Myanmar to India via Bangladesh.

"We are having a tripartite meeting of Energy Ministers from India, Bangladesh and Myanmar in Yangon on January 12 to see how gas from Myanmar could flow into India through an onland pipeline," Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, said before leaving for Yangon.

India, which last week struck a 25-year deal to import 7.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Iran from 2009, is looking for more fuel as demand is expected to grow to 400 million standard cubic meters per day by 2025 from around 90 mmscmd available today. Domestic production meets only half the demand.

"The idea is to explore the possibility of Myanmar-India gas pipeline," he said.
The pipeline is one of the several options being considered by India to bring gas reserves from Shwe field in Block A-1 in offshore Myanmar, as well as volumes that are expected to be discovered in its adjacent block A-3.

In both blocks, ONGC Videsh Ltd. has 20 per cent stake and GAIL (India) 10 per cent. South Korea's Daewoo is the operator of both blocks.

Bangladesh will earn about 125 million dollars annually as transit fee for the pipeline, that would run through Arakan (Rakhine) state in Myanmar via Indian states of Mizoram and Tripura before crossing Bangladesh to Kolkata.

Sources said Dhaka had agreed in-principle to the export pipeline proposal and a tripartite deal could be reached this month.

Dhaka, however, wants the pipeline to be laid along Bangladesh's existing roads and highways and that the project be jointly managed by it and India. It also wants India to agree to allow Bangladesh to use the pipeline to export gas to India or import it from Myanmar.

India would build the 1 billion dollar 290-km gas trunk line while Bangladesh's state-owned Gas Transmission Company would have responsibility of managing the stretch in its country.

A three-billion dollar liquefied natural gas project to bring A-1 and A-3 gas was also under evaluation, sources said.
GAIL has commissioned Italian contractor Snamprogetti, to conduct a feasibility study for the LNG project.

An appraisal campaign recently started at Shwe, which has estimated recoverable reserves of between 4 trillion and 6 trillion cubic feet of gas. Reserve potential at the A-1 block is put at upto 24 Tcf.

First gas from A-1 block is expected in 2009, sources said.

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Govt to talk over Myanmar pipeline

From Economic Times, India
January 11, 2005
link to this article.


NEW DELHI: The government will hold talks with Dhaka and Yangon on Wednesday to explore the possibility of laying a natural gas pipeline from Myanmar to India via Bangladesh.
"We are having a tripartite meeting of energy ministers from India, Bangladesh and Myanmar in Yangon on January 12 to see how gas from Myanmar could flow into India through an onland pipeline," Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said before leaving for Yangon.
India, which last week struck a 25-year deal to import 7.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Iran from 2009, is looking for more fuel as demand is expected to grow to 400 million standard cubic meters per day by 2025 from around 90 mmscmd available today. Domestic production meets only half the demand.
"The idea is to explore the possibility of Myanmar-India gas pipeline," he said.
The pipeline is one of the several options being considered by India to bring gas reserves from Shwe field in Block A-1 in offshore Myanmar, as well as volumes that are expected to be discovered in its adjacent block A-3.
In both the blocks, ONGC Videsh Ltd has 20 per cent stake and GAIL (India) 10 per cent. South Korea's Daewoo is the operator of both the blocks.
Bangladesh will earn about 125 million dollars annually as transit fee for the pipeline, that would run through Arakan (Rakhine) state in Myanmar via Indian states of Mizoram and Tripura before crossing Bangladesh to Kolkata.

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ONGC Videsh Strikes Gas in Second Well Offshore Myanmar

ONGC Videsh Limited
From RIGZONE
January 7, 2005
link to this article.

ONGC Videsh Limited has announced gas in the first appraisal well in the Shwe gas field in Block A-1, Myanmar, 7.8 kilometers away from the first exploratory well, where the Consortium discovered gas in January last year.

The Consortium consists of OVL with 20% share, Daewoo (the Operator) with 60% share & GAIL and KOGAS with 10% shares each.
The appraisal well was spudded in mid-November, penetrated the expected gas reservoirs. The main Gas Horizon G5 was proved to be a much better reservoir showing good reservoir characteristics.

Mr. Subir Raha, Chairman of OVL, said that this success has enhanced the possibility of commercial development of the gas field significantly and OVL is quite confident of the commercial success.

Mr. Raha said that the Consortium will drill a few more appraisal wells in the first half of 2005 to have a better definition of the reservoir limit, parameters and have a better estimate and confirm commerciality of the Shwe gas field.

The Consortium will also drill additional exploratory and appraisal wells at the Shwe Phyu and Ngwe prospects simultaneously using one more rig from late January 2005 to assess the hydrocarbon potential of Block A-1.

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Tri-nation gas pipeline nearing go-ahead Dhaka to tag condition of land transit to Nepal

Shahnaj Begum
From The Independent, Bangladesh
5 January, 2005
link to this article.

Bangladesh's land transit to Nepal is expected to dominate the talks when India, Bangladesh and Myanmar meet in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, on January 12-13 to finalise a three- nation gas pipeline project.

The Bangladesh government has decided upon the country's points of deliberation for the three- nation gas pipeline project meet and set certain conditions like import of gas from conditions like import of gas form Myanmar when required, for allowing the gas pipeline from Myanmar to West Bengal over Bangladesh territory.

AKM Mosharrof Hossain, Atate Minister for Energy and Mineral resources, will lead a two- member Bangladesh team to the talks. They will leave Dhaka for Myanmar on January 11. SR Osmani, Chairman of Petrobangla, will accompany the State Minister.

Earlier, the government made a committee to weigh the pros and cons of the proposal and identified the way through which Bangladesh could get more benefit. Dr Kamal Uddin Siddiqui, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister led the committee and set the deliberation points for Bangladesh. However, Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia yesterday gave her final nod to the much-awaited meeting.

It may be mentioned that Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr Kamal Siddiqui was assigned to prepare the module paper for discussing the draft of the position paper to be placed at the three- country ministerial meeting.

Bangladesh's 30-year efforts to get transit to Nepal through only a 13km road in India have yet to become fruitful, a top official at the Prime Minister's a top office told the Independent yesterday preferring anonymity.

After postponing the date of the SAARC summit, Bangladesh government did not send any fresh invitation to India's Oil Minister Mani Shankar Aiyer to visit Bangladesh, a top government official told the Independent yesterday.

It means that the previous idea to hold a bilateral meeting between Bangladesh and India for finalizing some issues relating to the project has been cancelled, a top official at the Energy Ministry yesterday told this correspondent preferring anonymity.

During Finance Minister Saifur Rahman's visit to India last month, he made it clear that Bangladesh Nepal corridor issue could be tagged to the Yangon talks.

Following the visit, the Finance Minister said that at his meetings with the top Indian ministers he got the impression that India was very much eager to improve relations with Bangladesh.

And it is necessary for both of us. We should forget the minor incidents that sometimes have created bitterness. The world is changing and to cope with globalization we must strengthen our relations with all our neighbors, he said.

Before finalizing the gas pipeline deal, the issue of royalty and nature of business, whether it would be triparty joint venture or not, had to be taken into consideration, experts feel.

It was observed that Dhaka would have no objection if the pipeline were built on mutually beneficial terms.

It was learnt, one of the conditions placed earlier said that Bangladesh would be the sole operator of the pipeline and would be entitled to use it as and when deemed necessary in its own interests, including export and import of gas whenever needed. Other terms and conditions include provisions requiring the company concerned to construct the pipeline with 30 to 40inch diameter and to include the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) as one of the main parties in the consortium . Officals at the Energy Division indicated that Bangladesh would get about US$ 100 million million as wheeling charge and US$25 million as maintenance charges from the proposed pipeline. Besides, Dhaka would get the right of way revenue from the pipeline. It will also ask its Indian counterpart to reduce the trade gap between the two countries.

On top of that, there would be an investment of US$ 150 million that would create employment opportunities for Bangladeshis.

Though the committee on three-nation gas pipeline felt that it was a good proposal, it needed the Indian and Myanmar governments formal opinion to take any decision or discuss anything in this regard, sources said.

The proposal, pursued since 1996 by Mohona Holdings, has been approved in principle by the governments of the two Indian states of West Bengal and Tripura, and Myanmar. The Bangladesh Ministry for Energy and Mineral Resources referred the matter to the Cabinet Sub-committee for taking a decision six months ago.

The sources said the proposed pipeline would enter the Bangladesh border through Brahmanbaria from the Indian state of Tripura and will cross into West Bengal through the Rajshahi border.

It was learnt that the Bangladesh government had accepted a formal invitation from the Myanmar government to attend a meeting of the Ministers of Energy of Bangladesh, India and Myanmar in Yangon in January to finalise the three-nation gas pipeline project.

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Conditions Set for Tri-nation Gas Pipeline Project

From Energy and Power
January 2004
link to this article.


The government has put some conditions in allowing construction of a gas pipeline from Myanmar to West Bengal through Bangladesh territory. Official sources said that the Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) has prepared a draft for the proposed Myanmar-Tripura-Bangladesh-West Bengal gas pipeline project,The EMRD draft set certain stipulations like importing gas from Myanmar, when required, and keeping provision for transmission of Bangladesh's gas domestically or for export through the pipeline network for the trans-border project, they added.

It also laid stress on empowering Gas Transmission Company Limited (GTCL), a company under state-run oil-gas corporation -- Petrobangla, for overall management of the proposed pipeline. Besides, the government will decide on its diameter. The EMRD also advised to ensure that as little as possible land is acquired for the pipeline, which is proposed to run along highways.

The project came into limelight after the Congress-led government in India showed keen interest in this regard during Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan's recent visit to New Delhi.

During his trip, Morshed told Indian Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar that Dhaka is not reluctant to the idea of constructing Myanmar-India gas pipeline through Bangladesh's territory if it is done on 'mutually acceptable terms'.
India has been considering build the cross-border pipeline to pump gas from A-1 Myanmar offshore field in which Indian oil company ONGC-Videsh and Gail own a 30 percent stake, sources said.

Mohona Holdings, a Bangladeshi company, has proposed to build the proposed pipeline. Earlier, sources said that the Bangladesh government had turned down Mohona's proposal for the pipeline.

Energy division officials hinted that Bangladesh would earn about US$ 125 million annually -- US$ 100 million as wheeling charges and US$ 25 million as maintenance charges -- from the proposed project.

Dhaka will also receive right of way revenue from the planned pipeline. A US$ 150 million investment for the project will create employment opportunity for Bangladeshis, they added.

State Minister for Energy AKM Mosharraf Hossain told the Energy & Power that experts have examined the particulars of the cross-country project and the EMRD proposal will be sent to the PM soon for consideration by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

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