Burma's military government has signed a deal with a consortium of four foreign firms to pipe natural gas into neighboring China, state media report.
The firms, from South Korea and India, will pipe the gas from fields off Burma's north-western coast. The deal was signed in a ceremony in Rangoon on 24 December, the New Light of Myanmar state newspaper reported.
Campaigners complain that the deals will threaten local people's human rights and enrich Burma's ruling junta. The U.S. and Europe maintain economic sanctions against Burma—also known as Myanmar—for its human rights record and long detention of democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. But their impact has been diluted by energy investments from nearby countries, including China, India and Thailand—all hungry for its reserves of oil and gas.
Now Burma's state energy firm has signed a deal with South Korea's Daewoo and Korea Gas Corporation, and India's ONGC Videsh and GAIL. Daewoo holds the leading 51% stake in the deal. The deal will see gas from Shwe reserves in waters off the Burmese state of Rakhine piped to China to supply China's National United Oil Corporation. China's Xinhua state news agency says it is a 30-year deal.