BANGKOK - INDIA is investing US$1.35 billion (S$1.9 billion) in gas projects in military-ruled Myanmar, the two governments have announced, as the neighbouring nations pursue closer economic and diplomatic ties.
India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Gas Authority of India Ltd (Gail) will spend US$1.1 billion on rights to develop two gas field blocks and US$250 million on a connecting pipeline, India's energy ministry said in a statement.
Myanmar's military government confirmed the gas investment in a statement following broader diplomatic talks held with an Indian delegation on March 1 in its remote capital Naypyidaw.
Myanmar 'welcomed the additional investment of US$1.1 billion... for gas field development and upstream projects', it said in a statement, referring only to the gas fields deal. 'Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in this field,' it said.
The other US$250-million investment gives India a 12.5-per cent stake in a US$2-billion pipeline being built by China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), China's top oil producer. The first gas is expected in early 2013.
ONGC will spend US$167.8 million while Gail will invest US$83.8 million in the 771-kilometre (480-mile) pipeline which will transport gas from the two blocks off the Myanmar coast to China. The connected gas blocks are jointly owned by South Korea's Daewoo, Korea Gas Corp, ONGC and Gail. -- AFP