Myanmar-China crude oil pipeline to commence next month

Officials said that after a two-year delay, the Myanmar-China crude oil pipeline is expected to begin operating in May. The respective parties of Myanmar and China were discussing the terms and conditions on the crude oil pipeline operation since its soft opening launched in early 2015.

An official from Southeast Asia Crude Oil Pipeline (SEAOP) which is responsible for the pipeline’s operation, said that “The crude oil pipeline is getting ready for operation. We are awaiting instructions from the higher ups and we expect it will begin in May.”

The contract to transport crude oil was signed in Nay Pyi Taw on March 28 but the operation of utilising Made Island in Rakhine state is yet to be finalised, said an official from Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).

Mr Kyaw Nyan Tun, director (offshore) of MOGE said that “the contract between China Oil and SEAOP has been signed. MOGE witnessed the signing as the investment partner of the project. But they have to negotiate with the Myanmar Port Authority for operation.”

He said that a larger amount of crude oil is going to be imported to Made Island in the coming week but they are unsure where to start in pumping crude oil to China through the pipeline.

SEAOP authorities invited some local and Yangon-based Chinese media last week to observe control and gas pumping stations near Mandalay. The firm also introduced some corporate social responsibility activities in the trip.

The crude oil pipeline project is a controversial project in Myanmar, provoking serious opposition among the public and non-governmental organisations.

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