Pipeline Politics, India and Myanmar

Published on PINR, the Power & Interest News Report, September 10, 2007.

An excerpt: … Conclusion:

The junta is insisting that the rules of the gas fields have little to do with political decisions; rather, that it is the business as usual approach of offering the sale to the highest bidder. The decision to sell to PetroChina, however, emphasizes the complexity of resource diplomacy for all players within the region. India’s current loss in the field of energy security will likely not lead to a decrease in its attempts to win greater cooperation from Myanmar over counter-insurgency efforts, but it does reveal the deep connections between China and Myanmar. This relationship will prove hard for India to compete with in the long run, especially as long as the decision-making process within the junta follows the familiar route of political considerations at the expense of sound domestic economic policy.

An important consideration, unexamined here, is that India will not likely rock the diplomatic boat as long as its companies continue to enjoy privileged access to a country that is closed to U.S. and European competition. Exploration, after all, is still ongoing in the offshore blocks while Myanmar’s onshore basins remain largely untapped. (full long text).

Report Drafted by Gideon Lundholm.

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