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Burma and the Geopolitics of Oil and Gas

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Sino-Burma pipelines
Description/subject: Sino-Burma pipelines refers to planned oil and natural gas pipelines linking Burma's deep-water port of Kyaukphyu (Sittwe) in the Bay of Bengal with Kunming in Yunnan province of China.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Wikipedia
Date of entry/update: 13 October 2010


Individual Documents

Title: China Backs Burma’s Junta Leaders
Date of publication: 15 September 2010
Description/subject: Burma's junta leader comes back happy from China after getting backing for his November election and a pledge from Beijing to snub ethnic militias inside Burma. “May I propose a toast for the long-lasting Sino-Myanmar Pauk-phaw friendship?” So said Li Jinjun, China's Ambassador to Myanmar, or Burma, speaking at an official reception in Rangoon five years ago. Meaning 'brother' in Burmese, the wording is as a hat-tip to the growing commercial and strategic ties between the two countries – links which Burmese opposition leaders and exiles have slammed for helping maintain an oppressive status quo in Burma, which is scheduled to hold elections on 7 November. The real meaning of Pauk-phaw was underlined last week with the visit of Burma's junta leader Sen. Gen. Than Shwe to China, marking the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations between the two countries.
Author/creator: Simon Roughneen
Language: English
Source/publisher: Oil Price
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://oilprice.com/Search/newest-first.html?searchphrase=any&searchword=Myanmar
Date of entry/update: 13 October 2010


Title: Regional Political Economy of China Ascendant:- Pivotal Issues and Critical Perspectives. Chapter 4: China Engages Myanmar as a Chinese Client State?
Date of publication: 2009
Description/subject: Introduction: The Role of Energy in Sino-Myanmar Relations; Myanmar Plays the China Card; China Engages Myanmar in the ASEAN Way; Conclusion: Norms, Energy and Beyond: "Conclusion: Norms, Energy and Beyond This chapter has demonstrated two points. First, although ASEAN, China, India, and Japan form partnership with Myanmar for different reasons, interactions among the regional stakeholders with regard to Myanmar have reinforced the regional norm of non-intervention into other states’ internal affairs. Both India and Japan, the two democratic countries in the region, have been socialized, though in varying degrees, into the norm when they engage Myanmar as well as ASEAN.67 The regional normative environment or structure in which all stakeholders find themselves defines or constitutes their Asian identities, national interests, and more importantly, what counts as rightful action. At the same time, regional actors create and reproduce the dominant norms when they interact with each other. This lends support to the constructivist argument that both agent and structure are mutually constitutive.68 This ideational approach prompts us to look beyond such material forces and concerns as the quest for energy resources as well as military prowess to explain China’s international behaviour. Both rationalchoice logic of consequences and constructivist logic of appropriateness are at work in China’s relations with Myanmar and ASEAN. But pundits grossly overstate the former at the expense of the latter. To redress this imbalance, this chapter asserts that China adopts a “business as usual” approach to Myanmar largely because this approach is regarded as appropriate and legitimate by Myanmar and ASEAN and practised by India and Japan as well, and because China wants to strengthen the moral legitimacy of an international society based on the state-centric principles of national sovereignty and nonintervention. As a corollary, we argue that regional politics at play have debunked the common, simplistic belief that Myanmar is a client state of China and that China’s thirst for Myanmar’s energy resources is a major determinant of China’s policy towards the regime. A close examination of the oil and gas assets in Myanmar reveals that it is less likely to be able to become a significant player in international oil politics. Whereas Myanmar may offer limited material benefits to China, it and ASEAN at large are of significant normative value to the latter. Ostensibly China adopts a realpolitik approach to Myanmar; however, the approach also reflects China’s recognition of the presence and prominence of a regional normative structure and its firm support for it.".....11 pages of notes and bibliographic references
Author/creator: Pak K. Lee, Gerald Chan and Lai-Ha Chan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute of China Studies, University of Malaya
Format/size: pdf (892K - OBL version; 1.2MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs12/China_engages_Myanmar_as_client_state.pdf-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 17 September 2011


Title: Bangladesh-Myanmar in standoff
Date of publication: 09 November 2008
Description/subject: Troops on alert as row over oil and gas exploration in Bay of Bengal simmers. Bangladesh's border guards have been placed on high alert after reports that Myanmar strengthened its security along the 270km land border between the countries. The move came as Myanmar's government said on Sunday that oil and gas exploration operations in contested waters in the Bay of Bengal had been completed.
Source/publisher: Aljazeera
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2008/11/20081194956933121.html
Date of entry/update: 13 October 2010


Title: Es besteht Nachholbedarf
Date of publication: 11 January 2008
Description/subject: Es erhob sich in letzter Zeit der Ruf nach einem energischen Auftreten Indiens gegen das Militärregime in Burma immer lauter. Die Rufer übersahen allerdings, dass die indisch-burmesischen Beziehungen, wie auch die zum Rest Südostasiens, alles andere als eng und damit die Möglichkeiten der Einflussnahme ausgesprochen gering sind. Außenpolitik Indiens; Indisch-chinesische Beziehung; Südostasien; SEATO; India`s foreign policy; Indian-Burmese Relations; Indian-Chinese Relations; Southeast Asia; Uprising 2007
Author/creator: Amit Das Gupta
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Asienhaus
Format/size: Html (47 kb)
Alternate URLs: http://www.asienhaus.de/public/archiv/2007-4-008.pdf
Date of entry/update: 22 January 2008


Title: Fossil Energy Resources, Burma And Its Neighbours
Date of publication: 29 November 2007
Description/subject: Burma’s gas wealth and geostrategic position in the eyes of increasing energy demands of its neighbours. Implications on international politics and Burma’s domestic situation...Table Of Contents: 1. Introduction; 2. Natural Gas As A Source Of Energy In Asia; 3. The Historic And Political Context In Burma; 4. Gas In Burma: 4.1. Foreign Direct Investment Under Military Control; 4.2. Reserves; 4.3. Domestic Production; 4.4. Domestic Consumption; 5. Thailand, The First Partner: Yadana, Yetagun And Human Rights; 6. China, A Political Partner: Gas, Oil and The Straits Of Malacca; 7. India, A New Partner: Repositioning Of The 1990s And A Bangladeshi Problem; 8. Conclusion... Introduction: "Burma, also called Myanmar, is an impoverished country ruled by one of the most brutal military regimes of the present. It is located in a region that is undergoing deep economic and social transformations. The Asian continent, where more than 58% of the world population live, can today be considered as one of the principal motors of the world economy.2 It is however often forgotten, that vast amounts of energy are needed for this economic development and performance. This represents a problem for the region, as, apart from coal, it has very few fossil energy resources to satisfy its growing energy consumption. 28.1% of the world oil consumption and 14.2% of the world natural gas consumption in 2006 took place in Asia. However, only 3.1% of the world’s petroleum reserves and 6.8% of the world’s natural gas reserves are located on this continent.3 The region is importing large quantities of oil mainly from the Middle East. As a response to this dependency, the different national actors are trying to diversify their provisions geographically but also to further develop the use of gas. One of the unavoidable options is to systematically look within the region for any undiscovered resources. By doing so, considerable gas resources have also been discovered off the coast in Burma, which, like all other resources in the region have become subject to tough competition between the different national actors. Therefore they have a geostrategic impact that needs to be closely examined. The purpose of this paper is to analyse what kind of impact the discovery of gas resources in Burma has had on its position on the level of international politics on the one hand, and on the internal position of the military regime, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), on the other hand. I will also analyse the impact of geostrategic aspects with respect to the Straits of Malacca and to the position of Bangladesh. In this way, this paper aims to contribute to a general understanding of how the situation in this country has evolved since the uprisings in 1988..."
Author/creator: Frederic Barthassat
Language: English
Source/publisher: Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva
Format/size: pdf (858K)
Date of entry/update: 22 April 2008


Title: Myanmar's “Saffron Revolution”: The Geopolitics behind the Protest Movement
Date of publication: 15 October 2007
Description/subject: Burma’s “Saffron Revolution,” like the Ukraine “Orange Revolution” or the Georgia “Rose Revolution” and the various Color Revolutions instigated in recent years against strategic states surrounding Russia, is a well-orchestrated exercise in Washington-run regime change, down to the details of “hit-and-run” protests with “swarming” mobs of Buddhists in saffron, internet blogs, mobile SMS links between protest groups, well-organized protest cells which disperse and reform. CNN made the blunder during a September broadcast of mentioning the active presence of the NED behind the protests in Myanmar. There are facts and then there are facts. First it’s a fact which few will argue that the present military dictatorship of the reclusive General Than Shwe is right up there when it comes to world-class tyrannies. It’s also a fact that Burma enjoys one of the world’s lowest standards of living. A dramatic collapse in purchasing power resulted from the ill-conceived 100% to 500% price hikes in gasoline and other fuels in August.
Author/creator: F. William Engdahl
Language: English
Source/publisher: Global Research
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 13 October 2010


Title: Step on the Gas
Date of publication: July 2007
Description/subject: Asian nations are stumbling over each other in a rush to capture the concession rights to huge gas and oil resources controlled by the Burmese junta... "Despite the efforts of some Western governments to isolate the Burmese regime economically, the stark reality is that more private companies and countries than ever are courting the Burmese generals to obtain a share of the country’s vast oil and gas resources. International energy companies from nine countries are now competing for exploration or production rights for gas and oil both offshore and o­nshore in Burma. A Thai company recently discovered a huge offshore gas field that may harbor as much as two trillion cubic feet of gas..."
Author/creator: William Boot
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 15, No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


Title: Burma. Ein Mosaikstein indischer Ost-Politik. Pragmatismus gegenüber der Militärjunta
Date of publication: 25 April 2007
Description/subject: Seit Beginn der 1990er Jahre arrangierten sich alle indischen Regierungen mit dem östlichen Nachbarn. Die größte Demokratie der Welt zeigte sich sehr zurückhaltend gegenüber der kürzlichen Protestbewegung in Burma. Energieinteressen, die burmesische Hilfe bei der Bekämpfung von Rebellen im indischen Nordosten und die angestrebte Neutralisierung des mächtigen chinesischen Einflusses führten zu einem sichtbaren Appeasement gegenüber der ebident die Menschenrechte verletzenden burmesischen Junta. Es mangelt an einer überzeugenden Initiative der indischen Regionalmacht, das Thema Burma offensiv anzugehen; chinesischer Einfluss in Burma; Geo-Politik Burmas; indische Wirtschaftsinteressen in Burma; indisch-burmesische Militärkooperationen; chinese Influence in Burma; geo-politics of Burma; indian economic interests in Burma; indian-burmese military cooperation
Author/creator: Klaus Julian Voll
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Asienhaus
Format/size: PDF
Date of entry/update: 22 January 2008


Title: Burma and Its Neighbours: The Geopolitics of Gas
Date of publication: 24 August 2006
Description/subject: "while countries in the neighbouring regions - particularly India and Thailand, but also Australia and Japan - may have important roles to play, China wields far more leverage. For those who wish to influence Burma in a positive direction, it is therefore essential to consider ways that change could be stimulated with the active participation of China, whether through sanctions, constructive engagement and/or any form of dialogue." The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Nautilus Institute. Readers should note that Nautilus seeks a diversity of views and opinions on contentious topics in order to identify common ground..."
Author/creator: Ã…shild KolÃ¥s & Stein Tønnesson
Language: English
Source/publisher: Austral Policy Forum 06-30A 24 August 2006
Format/size: html, pdf (137K)
Date of entry/update: 09 September 2011


Title: Energy Security in Asia: China, India, Oil and Peace
Date of publication: April 2006
Description/subject: Report to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs..."India and China are both characterized by a tremendous increase in energy consumption, of which an increasing share derives from imports. Very rapid economic growth always makes it difficult to arrive at a sound balance between demand and supply, and this tends to generate waste, bottlenecks and insecurity. Although both countries are trying hard to provide appropriate energy, increase their energy efficiency, and diversify their sources of supply, they are becoming increasingly dependent on imported oil, and the Persian Gulf is set to remain their predominant source of oil in the coming decades. Instability in the Middle East thus poses a serious challenge to the security of China and India, just as it does for Japan, the US and many European countries. The question of maintaining a stable supply of fossil fuels poses several security challenges. One is to boost one's own production, another to diversify one's sources of import, and a third to secure the transportation of oil and gas on vulnerable sea routes; or over land through pipelines that depend on long-term strategic relationships with the producing countries. In China and India a heightened awareness of the geopolitical implications of energy supply and demand has given energy issues an increasing prominence both in their domestic and foreign policies. However, it is difficult to say if this leads to more tension in their foreign relations or if instead it pushes them towards increased international cooperation. Plans are certainly being made for future possible ‘resource wars', but emphasis is presently being put on economic competition, and on seeking to maximise each country's position on the international energy market. Then again, such increasing resource competition may contribute to raising the stakes of conflict in areas where national jurisdiction has not been resolved (East China Sea, South China Sea), and also in some of the energy exporting countries. Burma is one such country, in which the energy security dynamics of India and China are played out, and this is detailed in an appendix to the report. The report is based on available literature, online energy data, and communication with Indian and Chinese researchers. We have used country reports and statistics provided by the International Energy Agency (IEA), statistics, forecasts and analyses by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), unpublished academic papers, books and articles by Indian and Chinese researchers, and reports by several European and American analysts. Based on our assessments of the energy security strategies and interests of the major players in the region, the report outlines three scenarios for the future of international relations in Asia. The first, called ' is the most positive and also, in our judgment, the most likely. The second scenario, ', presents a possible embargo against China, and is perhaps the least likely, at least in the near future. The third scenario, ' presents the nightmare scenario of a full scale ' with global impact and serious consequences for India and China. The situation in Iraq, and especially the ongoing developments with relation to Iran's nuclear programme, force us to say that this scenario is not just a fantasy fiction, but a real possibility, even in the short term. The final section of the report offers suggestions as to implications of the outlined scenarios for Norwegian foreign policy formulation. Four areas of cooperation that would improve energy security in China and India, as well as globally, are identified: 1) support for the promotion of energy efficiency, 2) assistance in the development of clean coal and gas technology for electricity production, 3) a campaign for engaging the world's great powers in a major research effort to develop transportation technologies that do not depend on oil, 4) assistance in the nomination and promotion of Indian and Chinese candidature for IEA membership..."
Author/creator: Stein Tønnesson and Åshild KolÃ¥s
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO)
Format/size: pdf (185K)
Date of entry/update: 29 November 2007


Title: TOTAL unethisch
Date of publication: 15 March 2006
Description/subject: Ein weltweiter Aktionstag gegen den französischen Ölkonzern TOTAL am 3. Februar 2006 wirft wieder einmal Licht auf die Frage nach der unternehmerischen Verantwortung bei Geschäften mit dem diktatorischen Regime. TOTAL wird vorgeworfen, mitverantwortlich für schwere Menschenrechtsverletzungen im Zusammenhang mit dem Bau einer Pipeline zwischen 1995 und 1998 zu sein. Außerdem mache sich der Konzern heute zum Komplizen für die Machenschaften des für seine Verbrechen gegen die Zivilbevölkerung bekannten Regimes ganz einfach durch Bereitstellung finanzieller Ressourcen aus den enormen Erlösen des Erdgasverkaufs. Dafür soll sich der Konzern in Frankreich und in Belgien vor Gericht verantworten. Burmas Öl- und Gaspolitik; Rolle der EU und Asiens;
Author/creator: Ulrike Bey
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Asienhaus
Format/size: PDF
Date of entry/update: 22 January 2008


Title: Articlesand Papers_Shwe Gas Movement
Language: English
Source/publisher: Shwe Gas Movement
Format/size: pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.shwe.org/
http://www.shwe.org/media-releases/articles-and-papers/
Date of entry/update: 14 October 2010