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Burma says sees Yadana gas pipeline
Subject: Burma says sees Yadana gas pipeline on schedule
Friday July 4 4:56 AM EDT
Burma says sees Yadana gas pipeline on schedule
BANGKOK, July 4 (Reuter) - Burma said on Friday that a project to lay a
pipeline to transport natural gas from the offshore Yadana field
overland to Thailand would be completed by the end of May or the
beginning of June 1998, as scheduled.
``Everything is going well and so far 95 percent of the total works on
the Burmese side is completed. I'm certain that supply could start from
July 1 next year with no delay,'' said visiting Burmese Energy Minister
Khin Maung Thein.
Many in the industry had feared that the controversial pipeline project
might be delayed because a section of it passes through a southern area
controlled by Burmese Karen and Mon guerrillas fighting for autonomy
from the military government.
The Burmese pipeline will connect with one being built on the Thai side
in the border province of Kanchanaburi and on to a power station in
central Ratchaburi province.
Environmentalists have vehemently opposed the Thai pipeline because a
50-km (31-mile) stretch of it would run through lush forests, and they
say it would harm the flora and fauna.
The total length of the pipeline from Yadana to the Thai terminus will
be 699 kms (434.08 miles).
The state-run Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) will have to pay
1.54 million dollars in daily fines to Burma if the project is delayed.
The Yadana project initially will provide 325 million cubic feet per day
(mmcfd) of natural gas to Thailand in 1998. Under the 30-year contract,
that will increase to 525 mmcfd in 1999.
Yadana's gas in place is estimated at more than five trillion cubic
PTT Exploration and Production Plc (PTTE.BK), a unit of PTT, owns 25.5
percent of the field, Unocal (UCL) of the United States has 28.26
percent, Total SA (TOTF.PA) of France 31.24 percent, and Burma's
state-run Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise 15 percent.
"THERE WILL BE NO REAL DEMOCRACY IF WE CAN'T GURANTEE THE RIGHTS OF THE
MINORITY ETHNIC PEOPLE. ONLY UNDERSTANDING THEIR SUFFERING AND HELPING
THEM TO EXERCISE THEIR RIGHTS WILL ASSIST PREVENTING FROM THE
DISINTEGRATION AND THE SESESSION." "WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING THEIR
STRENGTH, WE CAN'T TOPPLE THE SLORC AND BURMA WILL NEVER BE IN PEACE."
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