The SHWE Gas Movement: For a Sustainable Future in a Free and Democratic Burma

 

For a Sustainable Future in a Free and Democratic Burma

 

Home

About SHWE

SHWE Stakeholders

Issues

Solidarity and Support

  News Archives

Photos

Related Links

Take Action

Contact Us


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHWE Gas Movement News

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

 

Another China-India land route being studied: envoy

From Newz, India
October 26, 2005
link to this article.

"The Chinese government actually attaches great importance to revitalize this route, especially since we are commemorating the 60th anniversary of the World War II victory and this route had made a lot of contribution," he said.

Sun said India's Petroleum Minister Mani SShankar Aiyar had informed hi that, during the war, to supply fuel to the Chinese a petroleum pipeline also ran along this route that could also be revived and rebuilt.

"If we can lay a pipeline in those difficult war years, now it will be very easy to do it and revitalise it again. So we are all studying the possibility," Sun told IANS during an interactive meeting with its editors here.

The ambassador said besides Beijing, the governments of India and Myanmar were also keen to revive the Stilwell Road, called Tea Horse Road in Yunnan, to reach the bilateral trade target of $20 billion between India and China.

"Now, we are promoting the business people to think of the possibility and the feasibility. It should be there."

The road stretching 1,800 km via Myanmar was named after Gen J.W. Stilwell and built during World War II to help the allied armies enter China from India to resist the advance of Japanese forces.

The Chinese side of the road is now an expressway of over 1,000 km while in India the 70-odd km road stretches from Ledo town in Assam to Phangsu Pass in Arunachal Pradesh.

Traversing Myanmar, the road connects Ledo with Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, officials explained.

Sun said efforts were also on to join efforts in the area of energy security for the two countries, instead of competing with each other in developing oil assets in areas like the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia and Russia.

"We should have the power to define prices of oil. We must have that. We have discussed it with the Indian petroleum minister. He is going to talk on this with his counterpart in Beijing."

He said India had also invited China to participate in an energy roundtable this year to discuss various aspects of energy security. "We are working on it."

Sun said technical reasons alone were responsible for China being unable to reopen the Nathu La pass, which connects Sikkim with Tibet, on Oct 1.

"The Indian side said they are making it very quickly, but much simpler. But we are planning a lot of permanent structures - set up buildings for customs, storage and immigration," he said, adding he hoped the work would finish by the summer in 2006.

He said simultaneously the two sides will also decide on issues such as how to connect the road, the kind of offices to be established, how the transiting goods should be checked and the timings for the border gates to open and close.

0 comments  

Gasoline price jump by 736 per cent without warning

From Asia News/Agencies
October 20, 2005
link to this article.

Myanmar’s military junta announced yesterday it is raising fuel prices by 736 per cent in an apparent attempt to curb black-market sales and raise prices to reflect global oil prices

The price increase—from the equivalent of US$ 1.16 to US$ 9.70 a gallon (about .56 a litre) of petrol—will take effect today.

The price increase was not officially announced by state media, but drivers learned of the change via notices posted at the fuel pumps watched over by police to prevent vandalism.

The move is apparently aimed at preventing car owners and black-market vendors from taking advantage of a petrol-rationing system that has been in effect in the capital, Yangon, since 1980.

Under the system, car owners receive a ration book that allows them to buy 227 litres of petrol a month, but those who do not use their full quota often sell the excess fuel on the black market.

Myanmar's fuel prices are lower than those in many other countries, held down by government subsidies that have become increasingly difficult to sustain amid soaring global oil prices. However, despite the subsidies, fuel is relatively expensive for most people in Myanmar.

"At the new rate, I have to pay 9,000 kyat [] every time I fill my quota," said Hla Myint, a government worker who said he earned 12,000 kyat a month.

Higher fuel prices often presage increases in the prices of basic commodities, because the cost of transportation also goes up, so there were an unusually high number of people at Yangon markets yesterday buying staples such as cooking oil, onions and rice.

0 comments  

Myanmar offers stake in oil block

Jyoti Mukul
From Business Standard
October 19, 2005
http://www.business-standard.com/common/storypage.php?storyflag=y&leftnm=lmnu2&leftindx=2&lselect=1&chklogin=N&autono=203661 to this article.



The Myanmar government has offered equity in an oil and gas block adjoining Assam to India. The offer was made during the recent visit of Myanmar Energy Minister Lun Thi to India.

Senior officials told Business Standard, the block lies in the Hukaung sedimentary basin of Myanmar. "The offer was made because our companies have worked in the same basin which extends into the Indian territory. The terrain in the area is difficult and Indian companies are better equipped to handle it," said an official.

India has shown interest in the proposal but it also wants that certain areas in the Chindwin basin be made part of the package. Myanmar has 14 oil and gas bearing sedimentary basins in the onshore area.

Exploration and production work has been carried out in only three basins out of them - Central Myanmar, Pyay Embayment and Ayeyarwady Basin. There is limited exploration activity reportedly in the other 11 basins and the Myanmar government is looking for more investment for exploring them.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Oil India have worked extensively in Assam. ONGC subsidiary for offshore business ONGC Videsh, along with GAIL India, already have equities in two blocks in Myanmar. Gas has been discovered in A1 block in the offshore Shwe field.

The two companies also have stakes in the adjoining A3 block. ONGC Videsh has 20 per cent and GAIL has 10 per cent stake in the block, with Daewoo being the operator of the two blocks.

India wants to bring gas from the Shwe field through a pipeline via Bangladesh. While India, Myanmar and Bangladesh have agreed in principle to the laying of pipeline, Bangladesh has raised some bilateral issues with India before agreeing to sign a formal agreement.

Thi was in New Delhi for the first meeting of the energy ministers from the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) regional economic grouping which has seven members.

The one-day meeting concluded with a plan to build a network of gas pipelines linking its seven members - India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar.
Block by Block

The block lies in the Hukaung sedimentary basin of Myanmar.
India also wants that certain areas in the Chindwin basin be made the part of the package.

Myanmar has 14 oil and gas bearing sedimentary basins in the onshore area.
ONGC Videsh, along with GAIL India, already have equities in two blocks in Myanmar.


0 comments  

India yet to take any decision on tri-nation gas pipeline

From The Independent, Bangladesh
October 18, 2005
link to this article.

The Prime Minister's Office in New Delhi is yet to give decision on Dhaka's condition to participating in the Myanmar-Bangladesh-India gas pipeline project despite eagerness of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry about the scheme.

Officials concerned said the ministry, after much hyped Dhaka visit of Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, had sent a proposal to the PMO on the tri-nation gas pipeline and the condition imposed by Dhaka. The PMO referred the matter to the Commerce Ministry, they said.

Officials in the energy sector in New Delhi claimed that Dhaka has put only one condition - reducing trade gap between Bangladesh and India - in exchange of allowing gas pipeline through its territory. They claimed during Aiyar's Dhaka visit, Bangladesh withdrew the conditions of Indian corridor for bilateral trade with Bhutan and Nepal and bringing electricity from the two Himalayan Kingdoms.

However, a top official of Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry said: "We are now facing opposition from the External Affairs and Commerce Ministries. The Indian government, particularly Foreign Ministry has been dreaming of importing natural gas from Iran at a rate of four US dollars."

Several working groups are active on the issue.

Optimists among the Indian policymakers said a memorandum of understanding (MOU) is likely to be signed in December on the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline.

On the other hand, it seemed that India is not giving serious thought on Bangladesh's condition.

The top official of the Petroleum Ministry said any serious discussion on the issue is unlikely during Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's visit to Dhaka on the occasion of SAARC Summit next month.

Officials in Delhi admitted that they are yet to settle the price issue with Myanmar. Yangon wants to sell gas at $ 4.2 per thousand cubic feet while New Delhi offered $ 3.85. There is pressure from Myanmar on India to take a quick decision.

However, the Petroleum Ministry official said Myanmar will wait for India. Now Thailand does not need new supply of gas from Myanmar. India is the only possible client of Myanmar gas, he added. Myanmar recently informed India that China is willing to purchase its gas at a rate of seven dollars.

On the other hand, India expects that it will be able to buy gas from Iran at four dollars. But, experts in Bangladesh think any rate below seven dollars will not be viable for Iran.

Experts in both Delhi and Dhaka, however, agreed that West Bengal will benefit most if gas from Myanmar goes to India over Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi Mohona Holdings Ltd., the initiator of the project, has already signed MOU with West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation and GAIL, an Indian gas company.

Political quarters in Delhi said eagerness of the Indian Petroleum Minister alone would not help striking a deal on the Myanmar-Bangladesh-India gas pipeline. The left parties, partners in Delhi coalition government, have to be brought in confidence for a decision on the pipeline project, they said.

0 comments  

Arakanese Inside Burma Protested the Shwe Gas Project of Daewoo and the Junta

From Narinjara News
10/17/2005
http://www.narinjara.com this article.

Major cities in Arakan State in western Burma witnesses posters against the Shwe Gas Project of the International Consortium led by Daewoo on 12 of October.

At Akyab, Rathidaung, Mrebone, Morm Bra and Kyauk Phu, an anonymous youth group posted anti Shwe Project posters in public places.

In Akyab, these posters were posted at the jetty, Lokananda Pagoda, and the central Market.

On the posters, the sale of the gas to foreign countries is condemned and those who cooperate with the junta in the gas project are regarded as traitors to the national cause. Furthermore, the removal of the Burmese military forces from Arakan State is demanded by the group.

No group has claimed responsibility for these posters, but some students who are known to have been involved in previous pro-democracy activities are lying low, as the military authority is hunting down the responsible activists.

Whether or not this poster campaign has any link with the international movement against Daewoo's involvement in the Shwe Gas Project is not yet known. However, it is clear that the sale of natural gas from Arakan to India is not just opposed by exiled Burmese activists. This shows that the Arakanese people inside Burma are also angry with this gas sale that will only benefit the Burmese junta.

0 comments  

Daewoo Urged to Quit Arakan Gas Field Project

Louis Reh
From Irrawaddy News, Thailand
October 14, 2005
link to this article.

Demonstrations were being held around the world Friday protesting against the involvement of South Korea's Daewoo International in the proposed Shwe project to exploit sources of natural gas off Burma's Arakan coast.

Daewoo International signed a production sharing deal with the state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise in August 2000. The Shwe gas field was discovered in December 2003, and the deal guarantees the South Korean company a share of the income from sales of its natural gas.

Daewoo International, the Korea Gas Corporation, two Indian state-run developers, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Gas Authority India Limited, are the major foreign investors in the project.

Daewoo International is expected to earn at least US $100 million annually from Shwe gas revenues, according to Initiatives for International Dialogue, one of the organizations involved in Friday's protest demonstrations. The demonstrations were being held outside Daewoo International premises and South Korean embassies in the US, Britain, the Netherlands, South Korea, Japan, India, Thailand and Bangladesh, under the auspices of Korea House International Solidarity and Earth Rights International.

Protestors, who include parliamentarians and NGO workers, say the project threatens Burma's environment and involves forced labor and other human rights abuses. Arakanese villagers are being displaced by work on the pipeline, and some are fleeing to neighboring Thailand and Bangladesh, it is claimed.

The coordinator of Shwe Gas Pipeline Campaign Committee (India), Muam Kim says: "Arakaness people are suffering the confiscation of their land and restrictions on their fishing activities."

Carol Ransley, an assistant team leader with Earth Rights International, says the project works against "the interests of democracy, human rights, and environmental protection for the oppressed people of Burma."

She called for Daewoo International and other investors to pull out of the project before the situation deteriorated any further.

The regional coordinator of Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition and convener of the Free Burma Coalition-Philippines, Gus Miclat, said in a press release that "like any other business inside Burma, this gas project will just result in more human rights abuses in Burma, including forced labor and forced relocation of communities."

"We hope that these investors realize that it is immoral to do business with a military regime that doesn’t respect human rights [and that] they only become party to the exploitation of the people of Burma."

0 comments  

Daewoo to face new challenges from activists against its gas business interests in Burma

From Narinjara News, Bangladesh
October 13, 2005
link to this article.

Daewoo is going to face protests from activists who are against its cooperation with the Burmese junta in the natural gas extraction on off shore gas fields in Arakan State.
Natural gas from the Block Shwe Sea in Arakan will be sold to India by the Burmese junta through the Consortium lead by Daewoo. Arakanese, environmental and democracy activists will be staging a global campaign against the gas sale at Korean embassies throughout the world on the October 14.

Maung Khine Monn Zan from the United Kingdom says in an email that Burmese activists will protest at the Korean Embassy on the October 14 between 2 and 3 pm to demand the withdraw of the Korean company Daewoo from Burma's gas venture. The South Korean Embassy's address in London is No.60 Buckingham Gate.W1E 6AJ. St.James's Park Station.

Activists in USA, South Korea, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, the Philippines and the Netherlands will also be protesting against Daewoo at their respective country's South Korean Embassies on October 14.

On October 14 there will be a demonstration at the head quarters of Daewoo by Korean activists in cooperation with Burmese people in Korea and other activists from the Shwe Gas Movement in Thailand, Bangladesh, and India.

One of the activists, Ko Soe Lunn, explains that "the Burmese junta is selling our natural resources from our State without our agreement and support. They do not have the mandate to sell our resources. Moreover, all the proceeds from the gas sale will not be used for the benefits of the people of Arakan. This gas project is not beneficial, but only be detrimental. There can only be more violations of the rights of the Arakanese. Daewoo's involvement is allowing these violations to occur. That is why we are protesting against its involvement."

Arakanese people in Arakan State are also in agreement with the activists outside, says the Monk Sandaw Batha in Bangladesh, who just returned from Burma from his trip to survey the public opinion on this issue.

The monk said "every Arakanese is against it. They all don't like it at all. It is good that activists are protesting against the Korean government and Daewoo. They are acting on behalf of the Arakanese people who are being imprisoned in their own country. If Daewoo does not listen to the peaceful protests of the Arakanese people, the consequences of that will be the responsibility of Daewoo."

0 comments  

Investment in Myanmar- Bangladeshi businessmen have to wait till first quarter of next year

October 12, 2005 09:29:42 AM BDT
http://www.bangladesh-web.com/news/view.php?hidDate=2005-10-12&hidType=BAE&hidRecord=0000000000000000065468 to this article.

Bangladeshi entrepreneurs who are now looking to invest in some secpors of Myanmar for productive use of their expertise may have to wait till first quarter of the next year, reports UNB.

AS Jahir Muhammad, member of the National Board of Revenue (NBR), said that a comprehensive agreement initially agreed upon by the two countries is now under vetting by the Law Ministry. The authorities are now scrutinizing the 30-point provisional accord signed earlier.

"It will take up to February to March to finish all the procedures of the agreement from both parties," he said.

The two sides inked agreed minutes on the umbrella agreement in Dhaka on August 24 in the second phase of negotiations. In the first phase of the negotiations, held September 15-17, 2003 in Yangon, the two sides had agreed on 10 articles of the deal. The remaining 20 articles were finalized in the Dhaka meet.

The major ones of the 30 articles are on shipping and air communications, dividend, interest, royalty, capital profit and student-trainees.

In the minutes it is stated that the native air authority would pay the tax in the respective country. The tax would be paid for ship plying at half the applicable rate.

The dividend-recipient person will pay his tax in his native country while the income from the interest will be payable in the country wherein the money earned. For royalty the rule will be the same as of interest. Students and trainees would be exempt from paying tax on earnings up to $2,000.

During signing the agreement, the NBR official also had said that Myanmar could be an alternative source of Bangladesh for importing various essential goods like onions, rice and ginger at crisis moment.

"The agreement is now taking the berthing time for the final approval of the agreement," he said about the latest status of the proposed deal.

According to the NBR member (Income Tax Policy) it is now high time Bangladesh transferred expert people to Myanmar for grabbing its market by using their know-how.

Bangladesh has account-trade arrangemenp with the natural resource-rich but cash-strapped country, which is a trading system without needing foreign currency as hard cash for business transaction.

"We are now looking to invest in Myanmar in some sectors like ceramics, garments, melamine, pharmaceuticals, timber and gas," Jahir Muhammad told UNB.

Bangladesh fetched US$ 4.18 million through exporting different commodities to Myanmar in 2004-2005 fiscal year while the bills for imports from Myanmar amounted to US$ 32.66 million during the same period.

On the other hand, realizing Bangladeshi entrepreneurs' expertise in various sectors, Commerce Minister Altaf Hossain Chowdhury has proposed that Myanmar lease out its unplanted and fallow lands to Bangladesh for commercial crop production.

The Commerce Minister made the overtures on September 25 to his Myanmar counterpart Tin Naing Thein at a meeting held at the commerce ministry.

He said that Bangladesh would go for commercial cultivation of various types of crops or invest in other sectors in Myanmar if the Army-ruled country leased out some of its forlorn land to Bangladesh-an overpopulated country short of adequate land for cultivating some essentials.

The Minister also apprised that the two sides agreed in principal to relax the visa process and extend its duration for the businesspeople for their uninterrupted stay in the two countries for boosting bilateral trade.

The meeting also agreed to amend the existing Coastal Shipping Agreement to facilitate easy and cost-effective movement of ships between the two countries.

"Through the amendment, the non-conventional ships will be allowed to move toward the Chittagong port via Teknaf and it will reduce the carrying time and cost as well," he said.

Myanmar Commerce Minister Tin Naing Thein has said that the discussions focused on enhancing the bilateral trade relations between the two friendly countries.

0 comments  

Villagers forced to plant trees near the Rangoon-Akyab Highway in Min Bya Township

From Narinjara News
10/11/2005
http://www.narinjara.com/details.asp?id=261 to this article.

People who live in villages near the Ra Maung Bridge in Min Bya Township have been forced by the local military authority to plant trees along the Rangoon -Akyab Highway.
Light Infantry Battalion (379) based in Min Bya forced the Village Peace and Development Council to get the villagers to plant three trees per household. These three trees were to be bought from the Battalion seedling orchards for 300 kyats and no other plants were allowed to use.

This arrangement is getting two birds by a stone policy, says a private teacher from Min Bya. It reduces the cost of the tree and plantation for the Ministry of Construction and the local Battalion also makes a profit.

The trees are said to be planted starting from the opposite end of Ra Maung Bridge to Min Bya and along the Highway towards Mrae Bone. The plan of plantation road length is 4 miles.

Villagers from Mirte Nar Roa, Daunt Chay Roa, Min Roa, Shwe Zin Gaung Roa, Kawa Sonee, Thinn Bone Chaung are being forced to plant the trees.

Those who could not and would not plant the trees have to give 500 kyats to the village Peace and Development Council and the village branch of USDA. They will plant the trees on their behalf.

The villagers not only have to plant the trees, but they have to make sure they grow too. If the trees die, they were to be replaced by the villagers themselves says a villager.

0 comments  

Pipeline plans uncertain: India demands Burmese gas on the cheap

Siddique Islam
From Mizzima News, India
October 10, 2005
link to this article.

The proposed gas pipeline project from Burma to India has hit a snag after the Indian government told their Burmese counterparts they wanted the gas at lower-than-market rates.

Burma had intended to sell gas to India at the same rate placed on exports to Thailand but India continues to insist on lower prices. The Burmese government is reported to have turned down the request according to sources.

Burma sells gas to Thailand at $4.20 per cubic feet of gas (MCF). Sources said Burma had offered India the same rate but India insisted on $3.85. Burmese authorities have asked India to discuss the tariff with the pipeline project consortium, sources confirmed.

The argument over prices is a further snag in three-month negotiations that have already been strained over several issues, including Bangladesh.

Managing Director of the Mohona Holdings and initiator of the project, KB Ahmed has criticised comments made by Chairman and Managing Director of Gas Authority India Limited (GAIL), Prasantha Bannerjee, over Bangladesh's reluctance to have the proposed pipeline through their territory.

Bannerjee blamed Bangladesh for causing uncertainty during negotiations.

But Ahmed told Mizzima on Saturday in Dhaka, "I did not understand why he made such a comment."

Ahmed said while GAIL was a 10 percent shareholder of the A1 and A3 gas blocks in Burma the proposed pipeline was not the company's concern. According to analysts in Dhaka, India, after failing to convince Burma to sell their gas at a lower rate has launched a propaganda campaign against Bangladesh.

"India is trying to establish that Bangladesh is not giving the right of way," an analyst observed.

Burmese Energy Minister Brig-Gen Lun Thi made similar statements at the meeting of BIMSTEC energy ministers in New Delhi last week. But the Bangladeshi government made its position on the tri-nation pipeline project clear during Indian Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar's visit to Dhaka last month.

Authorities in Dhaka said Bangladesh would allow the pipeline to run through the country in exchange for the Indian government allowing the transit of trade routes with Nepal and Bhutan through India.

But sources said Aiyar told Bangladesh Energy Advisor Mahmudur Rahman a decision would only be made after consultation within the Indian government. A month ahs passed with no word on the proposal.

0 comments  

Gas pipeline from Myanmar to India to bypass Bangladesh

From The Financial Express, Bangladesh
October 7, 2005
link to this article.

India says a proposal to take its $1bn gas pipeline to Burma through Bangladesh is "as good as shelved".
A senior official of the Gas Authority of India said the line would instead go via India's north-east to Burma. The move could add $290m to the cost, according to a BBC report.

Dhaka, which had asked for major trade concessions to allow the transit, said it had no objections to another route. Bangladesh could earn as much as $125m a year in transit fees and other service charges from the pipeline.

Proshanto Banerji, chairman of Gas Authority of India, told reporters in the north-eastern Indian city of Guwahati: "The Bangladesh route is as good as shelved.
"Our past experience shows we get into all kinds of trouble when we try to work through a third country," he said.
The new pipeline will have to be 40 per cent longer than the 850km Bangladesh route.
Mahmudur Rahman, the adviser to Bangladesh's energy minister, said Dhaka had no objections if India chose to use another route.
"In commercial negotiations, every party will try to get maximum benefit and there is no harm in it," Rahman told the BBC.

Burma is keen on India finalising the pipeline project soon to transport gas from its Arakan province for the energy-hungry Indian market. Burmese energy minister, Lun Thi, told Indian officials during a recent meeting in Delhi that the pressure was on India because China and Thailand also wanted the Arakan gas.

The Burmese, Indian and Bangladeshi governments agreed in principle to co-operate on the gas pipeline and exploration project in January. But Bangladesh has failed so far to agree to pipeline terms. Dhaka has asked for major trade and transit concessions for allowing the pipeline to be laid through its territory.
Indian Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar visited Bangladesh last month to try to finalise the deal.
Aiyar had said "the ice is melting" but a deal was not in sight as yet.
India is looking for more fuel as demand soars with its rapid economic growth.
Last week India struck a 25-year deal with Iran to import 7.5m tonnes of liquefied natural gas from 2009.

0 comments  

ONGC may merge OVL with itself instead of hiving it off

Anupama Airy
From The Financial Express, India
October 7, 2005
link to this article.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) may consider merging ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) with itself if the petroleum ministry pushes for hiving OVL into a separate entity, to be jointly owned by oil and gas PSUs.
FE had on October 3 reported that the petroleum ministry was working on a proposal to create a new entity for acquiring oil and gas acreages abroad.

Citing OVL's failures to buy into producing properties, the petroleum ministry's international division had mooted the idea of hiving OVL into a single special purpose delivery vehicle independent of ONGC.

"Consolidation would be the logical step if the government insists on hiving off OVL," said a senior ONGC official, adding ONGC has lent around Rs 15,000 crore free of interest to OVL. "No party would even look at OVL without ONGC's balance sheet. Had OVL borrowed Rs 15,000 crore from the market, it would have had to pay Rs 900 crore (at 6% per annum) in interest alone every year," he said.

The official said OVL was currently operating as a separate company because of the special empowered committee of secretaries route available to it for speedy clearance of its proposals.

Taking a cue from the China model and other oil deficit nations like the United State, France, Italy and Japan - which have huge mega-merged oil companies - the petroleum ministry feels India should look at big-ticket acquisitions of oil and gas properties abroad. At present, the focus seems to be on picking up small stakes as portfolio investors, they said.

0 comments  

Indian Govt To Set Up Institute Of Petroleum Technology

October 7, 2005
http://au.news.yahoo.com/051007/3/w99k.html to this article.
NEW DELHI, Oct 7 Asia Pulse - The government plans to set up an Institute of Petroleum Technology, on lines of the famous Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), to create knowledge workers in the oil sector, Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said on Thursday.

"We have not given enough attention to petroleum technology," he said at an Assocham seminar on Energy Security here.

For India, which is 73 per cent import dependent to meet its oil requirement, to attain energy security it was crucial to strengthen its knowlede base and the government had made strides in tying up with knowledge institutes in Canada, UK, Romania, Norway, Japan, Russia and Australia. "We need a very, very strong...intellectual network," he said.

Energy security had three dimensions -- enhancing domestic output, acquiring external properties and strengthening knowledge base, he said.

"I am not satisfied by my performance, my ministry's performance and the performance of our oil companies (in acquiring oil properties abroad). We need to do a lot more to synergise oil diplomacy with attempts made by companies," Aiyar said.

He said India would be 85 per cent import dependent in 2025 to meet its oil requirement and despite doubling of gas production, the domestic output would be able to meet only half of the 400 million standard cubic meters per day of need.

To meet the deficit, the country needed to import gas through pipelines from Iran, Myanmar and Turkmenistan, he said.

(PTI)

0 comments  

Indian gas deal to sideline Dhaka

Subir Bhaumik
From BBC News, Delhi
Friday, 7 October 2005
link to this article.


India’s petroleum minister has tried to finalise a deal with Dhaka
India says a proposal to take its $1bn gas pipeline to Burma through Bangladesh is “as good as shelved�.
A senior official of the Gas Authority of India said the line would instead go via India’s north-east to Burma. The move could add $290m to the cost.

Dhaka, which had asked for major trade concessions to allow the transit, said it had no objections to another route.

Bangladesh could earn as much as $125m a year in transit fees and other service charges from the pipeline.


Rising costs

Proshanto Banerji, chairman of Gas Authority of India, told reporters in the north-eastern Indian city of Guwahati: “The Bangladesh route is as good as shelved�.

“Our past experience shows we get into all kinds of trouble when we try to work through a third country,� he said.

The new pipeline will have to be 40% longer than the 850km Bangladesh route.



Mahmudur Rahman, the adviser to Bangladesh’s energy minister, said Dhaka had no objections if India chose to use another route.

"In commercial negotiations, every party will try to get maximum benefit and there is no harm in it,� Mr Rahman told the BBC.

Burma is keen on India finalising the pipeline project soon to transport gas from its Arakan province for the energy-hungry Indian market.

Burmese energy minister, Lun Thi, told Indian officials during a recent meeting in Delhi that the pressure was on India because China and Thailand also wanted the Arakan gas.

The Burmese, Indian and Bangladeshi governments agreed in principle to co-operate on the gas pipeline and exploration project in January.

But Bangladesh has failed so far to agree to pipeline terms.
Dhaka has asked for major trade and transit concessions for allowing the pipeline to be laid through its territory.

Indian Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar visited Bangladesh last month to try to finalise the deal.

Mr Aiyar had said, “the ice is melting� but a deal was not in sight as yet.

India is looking for more fuel as demand soars with its rapid economic growth.

Last week India struck a 25-year deal with Iran to import 7.5m tonnes of liquefied natural gas from 2009.

0 comments  

Don't buy gas from Myanmar: NLD

From The Hindustan Times, India
October 6, 2005
link to this article.

Pro-democracy activists from Myanmar Thursday urged India not to do business with the military junta in that country, saying the purchase of oil and natural gas from the Arakan region will only make the military rich.

A tri-nation gas pipeline deal is expected to get India a hefty chunk of Myanmar's 9.9 billion cubic metres of gas and seven million barrels of crude, which is expected to bring $655 million annually to the coffers of the ruling junta in Myanmar.

In 2004, the oil and gas sector in Myanmar received the largest FDI, worth about $3 billion.

"Oil hungry neighbours - China and India - competing for Myanmar's resources are the biggest supporters of the military junta," activists from Myanmar's main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), said in Chennai.

The tri-nation project envisages getting natural gas from the Kaladan river basin in the Arakan region through a pipeline to the northeastern state of Mizoram into the Brahmanberia area of Bangladesh.

From there it will reach Rajshahi in Bangladesh and finally into West Bengal.

"The project will showcase a peak in India's bilateral relations with Yangon's military rulers," NLD foreign affairs spokesperson in India Ram Jeet Verma said.

Ethnic Mon rights activist from the Human Rights Foundation of Monland, Nai Kasauh Mon said: "To get this pipeline, ethnic civilians living near gas reserves in south Burma are being moved out of the proposed rout by thousands of military men".

More and more refugees from Arakan are flooding into Bangladesh and Thailand as the "Myanmar army confiscates farmlands from the ethnic people, terrorising women and children", the NLD umbrella group said.

It included activists from the Shwe Gas Movement that operates in Bangladesh and Thailand border areas, the Arakan National Council, EarthRights International, the Korea House for International Solidarity and the Women's League of Burma (WLB).

"The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in India even sold arms to the military junta and the present government in the world's biggest democracy is maintaining a defence and diplomatic status quo, which we find very hard to understand", said Verma.

"There is a great contradiction when the government of India says it supports the movement for democracy in Myanmar and at the same time continues to sell arms to the military and trade in oil and gas with the junta," he said.

"We expect India to call for a regime change, at least support us in the United Nations forums and vote against the military regime," the activists said.

"Why is India silent and not advocating actively to free Aung San Suu Kyi", said WLB's senior leader Thin Thin Aung.

0 comments  

Indian, South Korean firms to explore off Myanmar

South Korean trading firm Daewoo International Corp., in partnership with two Indian state-run oil and gas companies and a South Korean gas corporation, has signed an agreement to explore Block A3 off Myanmar.

Daewoo will have a 60% stake in the project, India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp. will hold 20%, and Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) and South Korea's state-run Korea Gas Corp. will each hold 10%.

The 6,780-sq km Block A3 is south of Block A1, on which the same consortium has made two gas discoveries, including Shwe field, thought to hold 6 tcf of recoverable gas (OGJ, Sept. 19, 2005, Newsletter).

A Daewoo official said exploration of A3 could begin as early as December.

0 comments  

Forced Labour on Rangoon-Ann Highway in Arakan State

From Narinjara News
October 6, 2005
link to this article.

Villagers from Nyung bun Wine villages in Ann Township, Arakan State were forced to work to fix up the rain-destroyed parts of the Rangoon-Ann Highway near their village.
About 80 to 100 villagers from Nyung bun Wine were being used daily as forced labour, according to a reliable source from Ann Township.

The villagers were generally made to work on laying the stone foundation.

Even though the local military authority claims to pay 500 kyats a day, in reality, the villagers were not paid a single cent, says the local source.

Due to heavy rains this year, some parts of the highway were washed away by water and some bridges were also badly damaged.

When the Lynn Mwee Daung Bridge was broken by a heavy water current in the north of the state, bus transport between Rangoon and Akyab was stopped for three days in the last week of September.

0 comments  

Don’t buy gas from Myanmar: NLD

Chennai
From Indo-Asian News
October 6, 2005
link to this article.

Pro-democracy activists from Myanmar Thursday urged India not to do business with the military junta in that country, saying the purchase of oil and natural gas from the Arakan region will only make the military rich.

A tri-nation gas pipeline deal is expected to get India a hefty chunk of Myanmar’s 9.9 billion cubic metres of gas and seven million barrels of crude, which is expected to bring $655 million annually to the coffers of the ruling junta in Myanmar.

In 2004, the oil and gas sector in Myanmar received the largest FDI, worth about $3 billion.

“Oil hungry neighbours - China and India - competing for Myanmar’s resources are the biggest supporters of the military junta,� activists from Myanmar’s main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), said in Chennai.

The tri-nation project envisages getting natural gas from the Kaladan river basin in the Arakan region through a pipeline to the northeastern state of Mizoram into the Brahmanberia area of Bangladesh.

From there it will reach Rajshahi in Bangladesh and finally into West Bengal.

“The project will showcase a peak in India’s bilateral relations with Yangon’s military rulers,� NLD foreign affairs spokesperson in India Ram Jeet Verma said.

Ethnic Mon rights activist from the Human Rights Foundation of Monland, Nai Kasauh Mon said: “To get this pipeline, ethnic civilians living near gas reserves in south Burma are being moved out of the proposed rout by thousands of military men�.

More and more refugees from Arakan are flooding into Bangladesh and Thailand as the “Myanmar army confiscates farmlands from the ethnic people, terrorising women and children,� the NLD umbrella group said.

It included activists from the Shwe Gas Movement that operates in Bangladesh and Thailand border areas, the Arakan National Council, EarthRights International, the Korea House for International Solidarity and the Women’s League of Burma (WLB).

“The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in India even sold arms to the military junta and the present government in the world's biggest democracy is maintaining a defence and diplomatic status quo, which we find very hard to understand,� said Verma.

“There is a great contradiction when the government of India says it supports the movement for democracy in Myanmar and at the same time continues to sell arms to the military and trade in oil and gas with the junta,� he said.

“We expect India to call for a regime change, at least support us in the United Nations forums and vote against the military regime,� the activists said.

“Why is India silent and not advocating actively to free Aung San Suu Kyi,� said WLB’s senior leader Thin Thin Aung.

0 comments  

India should help restore democratic reforms in Myanmar

Chennai
From Press Trust of India
October 6, 2005
link to this article.

India should join hands with other countries to help restore democracy in military-ruled Myanmar, by taking it up in international fora, a group of Myanmarese rights activists said today.
“India had not expressed its concern over the lack of democratic reforms in Myanmar,� they said.

At least to begin with, India, joining hands with international community, should seek the release of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners languishing in jails for long periods, Member, National League for Democracy Ramjeev Verma, Editor-in-Chief, Mizzima News Soe Myint and Presidium Board member, Women’s League of Burma Thin Thin Aung told reporters here.

Verma and Aung claimed that India’s policy, which was people supportive during late Rajiv Gandhi’s time, had changed when P V Narasimha Rao became the Prime Minister and it became more pronounced when the BJP-led NDA came to power when India was willing to support the regime for abundant gas available in Myanmar.

“While we are not against India buying gas from Myanmar, it should only keep it in abeyance till democracy was restored,� Myint said.

Aung alleged that there has been gross human rights violations in Myanmar, since the military regime took over her country’s administration. Women’s rights have been violated and her organisation had even documented crimes against women committed by the regime, she said.

0 comments  

BIMSTEC nations plan trans-regional gas pipeline

From The Indian Express
October 4, 2005
link to this article.

The seven-nation group, part of the BIMSTEC initiative, on Tuesday arrived at a consensus on six energy cooperation issues that includes setting up of a trans-regional power transmission network. Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) members also decided to work on the feasibility of a trans-regional gas pipeline.

At the first energy ministers' meet of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand held in the capital on Tuesday, an action plan for energy cooperation was drawn out. The plan covers: a BIMESTEC trans-power exchange and development project, trans BIMSTEC gas pipeline(s), tapping the hydro potential in the region, exploring non-conventional sources of energy as well as building on energy security for the region and energy efficiency.

Among the six areas, the most concrete decision taken is on the power transmission network. The proposed network would run from Thailand to Sri Lanka; a task force led by Thailand would work out the draft memorandum of understanding for the inter-country grid connections. The task force, which is to submit its report within a year, would also incorporate crucial factors such as electricity flow between the member nations in a non-discriminatory manner.

On the gas pipeline, the members decided that a separate task force would be set up to first work out the reference terms and recommend the course of action after taking into account the work done on such a pipeline so far.

Thailand would host a meeting to study the petroleum reserves in the region.

On the other areas of energy cooperation, the member countries plan to share their individual experiences in developing hydel projects. For this, a workshop would be held.

In non-conventional energy sources, though there was no concrete outline on the way forward, it was decided that the members would focus on small hydel projects, solar energy and power generation from rice husk, as areas where they could cooperate.

On energy efficiency, India would be the lead country, whereby with inputs from other countries, standards and labelling would be outlined.

Finally on energy security, member countries would draw upon individual experiences on rural electrification as well as on efficient development of coal resources.

0 comments  

GAIL hints Burma's gas pipeline to pass through Mizoram

Hrishikesh Saikia
From Mizzima News, India
October 4, 2005
link to this article.

India is likely to build the proposed gas pipeline project with Burma through the north-eastern State of Mizoram instead of Bangladesh a Gas Authority India Limited (GAIL) executive said today.

During a press conference in Guwahati, Prashanto Banerjee, the chairman-cum-managing director of GAIL, which is in charge of executing the ambitious venture, said the routing of the pipeline through Bangladesh was as good as shelved because of a number of constraints.

"It is most likely that the project would be routed through Mizoram," he said.

Prashanto, who was addressing the media after a session in the two-day Energy Summit that started in Guwahati today, did not elaborate on the reasons for choosing Mizoram over Bangladesh saying the company was reluctant to work through a third country.

"Our past experiences have shown that problems crop up naturally whenever we have to work in a third country," he said.

GAIL has been awarded shares in two offshore blocks in Burma - A1 and A2 - following bilateral agreements. Prashanto said the A2-block shares were awarded only yesterday.

"We are also exploring the prospects of more gas reserves in Burma," he said.

Prashanto said following clearance for preliminary work, the project should be ready by 2008.

Re-routing the pipeline through the North-east has been demanded by various groups in the area, who feel that such a move would serve the interests of the region better and say it would be cost-effective.

The proposed pipeline would now enter India from Burma through Mizoram and would go up to West Bengal after passing through Assam.

GAIL will also be executing a Rs 5,500-crore (one crore is equal to 10 million) gas cracker project in Assam. "We should be starting the project after about 48 months," Prashanto said.

0 comments  

OVL, Daewoo sign JV for gas exploration in Myanmar

From The Hindustan Times, India
October 3, 2005
link to this article.

ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) and South Korean firm Deawoo today signed two agreements for assignment as well as joint operation that will enable Indian companies to take 30 per cent equity in the A-3 block in Myanmar, which was won by the Korean company last year.

The agreement provided OVL and GAIL entry in the A-3 block, which has major gas potential. The block is located near the A-1 block, where the same consortium found large gas last year.

OVL will hold 20 per cent equity while GAIL will hold ten per cent equity.

"Although the block was won by Daewoo through an open bid in which OVL participated but lost, the Korean company agreed to the wishes of the Myanmar government to allow Indian companies to take 30 per cent equity," OVL Managing Director Ranbir Singh Butola said.

Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar and Korean Director General of Commerce, Industry and Energy Bong-Hyeon Joo were present while the agreements were signed.

Mr Aiyar, calling for higher cooperation, asked Korean companies to bid for or participate in Indian blocks.

Daewoo Chief H B Lee said his company won the A-1 block in August 2000 and later Indian companies as well as Korea Gas joined by taking 30 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

GAIL Director B S Negi also signed an agreement.

"Since the four partners have been collaborating very closely and efficiently, it was decided to have the same partners in the A-3 block also," Mr Lee said.

During the drilling campaign from November 2004 until August this year, five appraisal wells were dug and Daewoo found the Shwe gas field. Daewoo will be the operator for A-3 block also.

Mr Lee said an exploratory well at the new block began work today to find gas. "Our exploration and appraisal programme is still going on and we have obstacles to overcome," he added.

"However, I believe that with cooperation and trust among four partners and with support from all the governments, we will accomplish our aim successfully," the Daewoo Chief said.

The Minister said both India and South Korea must work together to extend cooperation in the energy sector.

He indicated the possibility of swapping India's Sakhalin gas with gas to be produced from A-1 and A-3 blocks.

0 comments  

Daewoo Int'l signs formal agreement for Myanmar gas exploration

From Yonhap News
2005/10/03
http://english.yna.co.kr/Engnews/20051003/420200000020051003162659E0.html to this article.

SEOUL, Oct. 3 (Yonhap) -- Daewoo International Corp., a South Korean trading company, signed a formal agreement Monday with two Indian state-run oil and gas companies and a South Korean gas corporation to explore a gas field in Myanmar, the company said.

Under the agreement, Daewoo International will have a 60-percent stake in the project, while India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp. and the Gas Authority of India will invest 20 percent and 10 percent, respectively. South Korea's state-run Gas Corp. is to provide 10 percent of the investment for the project.

0 comments  

 
 
 
 

Recent News Posts

News Archives

Powered by Blogger

home about us online petition tell a friend contact us

If you are the copyright holder to any of these news stories and would like us to remove your story from our website, please email the webmaster at webmaster@shwe.org

Please share your thoughts about this website and this campaign! Write to feedback@shwe.org

Copyright © 2004 SHWE Gas Movement