STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

Bangladesh Factor in the Indo-Myanmarese Gas Deal

Sreeradha Datta is Research Fellow at Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, New Delhi. Click here for detail profile.
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  • January 2008
    Volume: 
    32
    Issue: 
    1
    Articles

    With the discovery of substantial gas in Myanmar's Sittwe region in the Rakhine state, India was keen to acquire gas from some of the new finds in the Shwe gas field, divided in several blocks, of which A-1 and A-2 blocks were closer to India and also estimated to have the best recoverable reserves. Given the geographical location, overland pipelines transiting through Bangladesh are the most cost-effective way of getting gas from Myanmar to India. Despite its initial enthusiasm, Bangladesh backtracked from its earlier willingness to be a partner to the tripartite pipeline. Dhaka tied its support for the project to India accepting its many existing demands in other area. The domestic opposition in Bangladesh delayed the finalising of the pipeline routes—one of the main reasons that eventually led to other countries walking away with the contract of the A-1 block.

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