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Came across an interesting article from Daily Times, Pakistan that argues that India’s Myanmar policy has of late been influenced by the fact that the country wants some benefits from Myanmar’s oil and gas reserves. It goes on to say that, while earlier the Indian government held the freedom leader Aung San Suu Kyi in public high esteem, now it appears to be spreading the red carpet for the military junta.

Well, it could well be, I thought. Thus made curious, I tried to check out how myuch indeed Myanmar had in oil and gas reserves. The following are the data: “Myanmar has proven recoverable reserve of 510 BCM out of 2.54 trillion cubic-meters estimated reserve of offshore and onshore gas, experts said, adding that the country is also estimated to have 3.2 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil reserve.” (Source, Jun 2008 data).

So that’d be about 16 tcf of recoverable gas and about 500 million T of crude. At India’s present annual consumption of about 1.25 tcf of gas and 120 MT of oil, these numbers do not sound like a big deal. But, as the article says, more than the actual amount of natural gas or oil, I think it is the fact is China is circling around these reserves that could make India take more interest in Myanmar.

Whatever the possible reason, it is a negative trend, assuming of course that India is indeed influenced by oil and gas in Myanmar. Well, I’ll be the last person to expect my government to be saintly in its attitude, but at least we don’t have to kow-tow to small fry just for the sake of the pittance amounts of oil and gas they have. Which also makes me wonder – why does China show any interest in Myanmar’s fossil reserves? (the country consumes almost 400 MT of oil a year and 2 tcf of natural gas per year!).

It’s a mad world out there!