India Intelligence Report

  Kalam to Iron out Myanmar Gas Deal


President Abdul Kalam is traveling to Myanmar and would try to further the natural gas deal with that country now stalled because of unsure transport mechanism. Myanmar has the world’s tenth largest deposit of natural gas and is willing to sell the gas through the Arakan port. However, the transportation of gas is a major stumbling block. The three options are to either bring it through Bangladesh, North Eastern states and via West Bengal, or by ships after converting it to Liquefied Natural Gas. While Bangladesh has been reticent on the proposal to transportation of gas through their territory, the transportation through North East and West Bengal will prove to be prohibitively expensive. Transportation through ships may not be expensive but there is a significant loss from conversion into LNG. India has taken two oil exploration blocks in Myanmar. Other issues such as return to multi-party democracy, freedom for Aung San Suu Kyi may not feature in discussions. India will also set up a remote sensing station that will receive satellite data for civilian use.

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