Reuters – “Myanmar finally takes a seat at its own oil & gas feast”

By Wayne Arnold | 12 Jun 2013

Check out the full article here.

In a few months, impoverished Myanmar plans to start pumping roughly $45 million worth of oil and gas a day from the Bay of Bengal to China by pipeline. The vital fuel for China’s growing economy will bypass the Malacca Straits and U.S. ally Singapore.

It will mostly also bypass Myanmar.

Though rich in natural resources, Myanmar has little capacity to use them for its own development. For decades, its leaders valued gas for the hard currency it could earn rather than the economic development it could fuel. Today, only one in four of Myanmar’s citizens have electricity.

Now, two years after sweeping aside six decades of self-imposed isolation in favor of democratic reforms, Myanmar’s leaders face pressure to deliver tangible results, to appease voters ahead of 2015 elections and to quell sectarian unrest …

That, experts say, means giving Myanmar energy.

“Electricity is definitely number-one,” said Hans Vriens, a Singapore-based consultant who advises companies on investing in Myanmar. “No electricity. No factories.”