Jan 25, 2012 | 23:27 GMT

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Myanmar's Natural Gas and Oil Pipelines

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Myanmar has begun developing its natural gas production and liquefied natural gas (LNG) export capacity to take advantage of its large natural gas reserves. Myanmar's natural gas production surged 100 percent in 2000, reaching a peak of about 13.5 billion cubic meters in 2007. But even though Myanmar reportedly boasts the world's 10th largest natural gas reserves, its natural gas production and exports have remained relatively stagnant since 2007, primarily due to a lack of LNG export terminals, undeveloped pipeline networks and inadequate production infrastructure. Without LNG export terminals, Myanmar is limited to exporting natural gas through pipelines, which significantly limits its potential customers. About 70 percent of Myanmar's current natural gas exports go to Thailand; in turn, Thailand gets about 30 percent of its natural gas from Myanmar. Myanmar also exports to southwestern China. However, Thailand and China have preferred to import LNG from more developed and cheaper sources rather than help develop Myanmar's export capacity, and other countries have been reluctant to invest due to international sanctions. With global demand for LNG on the rise and Thailand trying to secure more natural gas sources, Naypyidaw sees this as a good opportunity to develop its natural gas industry.

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