Wednesday, December 6, 2023

myanmar: PetroChina controls over 100 fuel stations close to India-Myanmar border

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In a move that could have security implications for India along its eastern neighbourhood, China‘s state-owned petroleum company has acquired control of several petrol pump and diesel stations in close proximity to the Myanmar-India border in recent times.PetroChina has so far acquired 119 retail fuel stations in Myanmar and may acquire another 53, sources indicated.

Over 50 of these fuel stations were earlier owned by a Singapore-based firm. Most of the pumps acquired by PetroChina are in proximity to the India-Myanmar border or along the Trilateral Asia Highway, ET has learnt.

Ever since Myanmar faced western sanctions after the coup, China has come to its rescue, including in the oil and gas sector. China is a major investor in Myanmar and places great importance on mines, oil and gas pipelines, and infrastructure projects designed to give it access to the Indian Ocean.

Earlier this year, a China-funded energy project in Myanmar came under attack from anti-junta rebels days after the Chinese foreign minister visited the SE Asian country. Local resistance group Natogyi Guerrilla Force (NGF) attacked China-backed oil and gas pipelines in the Mandalay region of Myanmar last week.

The oil and gas pipelines, which run from Myanmar’s Rakhine coast to southern China, were constructed in 2011 and began operation in July 2013. The 973-km pipelines pass through Magwe and Mandalay regions and Shan state to China’s Yunnan province.

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