Russian gas giant eyeing Burma

Officials from Russian state run gas company, Gazprom visited Burma’s capital Naypyidaw earlier this month, according to the International Oil Daily.

The company is interested in becoming involved in gas projects in Burma as it looks to expand its Asian presence.

Russia has the largest proven reserves of gas in the world and as result the company is the largest extractor of natural gas in the world as well as the largest Russian company.

Its revenues in 2010 alone were in the region of US$ 17.2 billion, which is equivalent to roughly a third of Burma’s total estimated GDP.

The officials who visited however were from Gazprom’s international up stream branch, Gazprom EP International, which is registered in the Netherlands, an EU member state which is party to EU sanctions on the country. The German company E.ON also has a small stake in Gazprom.

The Burmese government for their part are interested in the expertise that the company can offer in terms of equipment, storage facilities, pipelines and fior the company to conduct geological surveys.

The company is reportedly looking to diversify its market away from the sluggish EU economies, as China’s growing appetite for energy looks set to over take demand from the European block in 2030. China however is busy acquiring sources of gas in its neighbourhood in both central Asia and Burma.

The Burmese government has also been looking to acquire more domestic know how in the oil & gas sector. They have been insisting that Burmese companies form joint ventures with foreign companies in the on shore gas sector.

Investment in the gas & oil sector has remained buoyant, so much so that it has caused a massive appreciation of the Burmese kyat as it has increased in value by over 20% over the last year.

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