China-Myanmar pipeline to reduce dependence on the Strait of Malacca

2013-01-22 01:05:01 GMT2013-01-22 09:05:01(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

A pipeline connecting the Indian Ocean coast of Myanmar with southwest China will begin pumping gas at the end of May, according to the Chinese company that built it.

The new pipeline will help free China from its over-dependence on the Strait of Malacca as transit way for its energy imports, giving the country an alternate and shorter supply route.

CNPC, the parent of publicly listed PetroChina, published state media reports on its website on Monday saying that the 793km pipeline would be fully operational by May 30, less than three years after construction began.

A parallel pipeline that will transport crude oil imports from the Middle East and north Africa across the width of Myanmar and into China is expected to be finished by next year, the reports said.

At present, about 80 per cent of China’s crude oil imports are transported through the strategically important Strait of Malacca, but the new oil pipeline is expected to reduce China’s reliance on that route by about one-third.

The new pipeline should cut the transport distance for African and Arabian oil shipments by about 1,200km.

The new pipelines “provide China with an alternative supply route should the Strait of Malacca ever be blocked because of piracy, terrorism or conflict”, said Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, northeast Asia director at International Crisis Group.

The new gas pipeline will have the capacity to carry 12bn cubic metres of gas a year to China, with most of that supply to come from Myanmar’s gasfields in the Indian Ocean.

(Agencies)

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Editor: Mei Jingya
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