June 5, 2007
Daewoo in Myanmar gas pipeline talks
South Korean trading house Daewoo International Corp said recently it was
currently in talks to deliver gas from its Myanmar fields via pipeline,
but had not decided which bidder will take the product.
South Korea's Daewoo International Corp operates Myanmar's large A-1 and
A-3 natural gasfields. Nearby China, India and Thailand have bid to
receive gas via pipeline, while South Korea and Japan have bid for
liquefied natural gas (LNG).
"We are considering gas delivery via pipeline as a priority, but the final
decision will be made after negotiations," the company said in a filing
with the Korea Exchange.
But energy officials in India said they believed Myanmar and Daewoo
International had already chosen to sell the gas to China.
"The Daewoo statement must be in reference to a pipeline to China, because
no progress has been made on our pipeline proposal," a senior Indian
official close to the deal told Reuters, asking not to be named.
"Myanmar authorities told GAIL and ONGC that they want to sell gas to
China. GAIL and ONGC had protested but their objection was not
considered," said official added.
Daewoo has a 60% stake in the blocks. Other stakeholders include Korea Gas
Corp. with a 10 percent stake, India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp with 20%,
while India's natural gas utility GAIL owns 10%.
Earlier this year, a South Korean newspaper also reported that Myanmar has
picked China to sell its gas after China offered to build a pipeline for
free connecting the two countries, but Daewoo International and China's
state-run CNPC denied knowledge of any discussion or agreement.
Despite the country's political isolation and Western sanctions, Myanmar's
offshore natural gas fields have become a hotly contested commodity as
neighbours seek stable, secure sources of cleaner fuel for their
fast-growing economies. Reuters