Photo: Wikimedia Commons
General Electric and Chevron are looking to invest in Myanmar, according to the Wall Street Journal.General Electric is already pushing to get a licence to operate in Myanmar by the end of 2012, and is in talks with the Myanmar government to supply portable gas turbines.
Meanwhile, Chevron has a controversial stake in Yadana gas field in the Andaman Sea offshore Myanmar, as well as in a 249-mile (401-km) natural gas pipeline but hasn’t been able to expand its operations because of U.S. sanctions on the country.
Earlier this year, the U.S. began the process of slowly easing sanctions on the resource rich giant after the country began implementing political reforms including the release of Aung San Suu Kyi the leader of the National League for Democracy party. Then in April, the U.S. announced that it would send a full ambassador to Myanmar after Suu Kyi and her party won a landslide victory in parliamentary by-elections.
But the U.S. still bans imports of products from Myanmar and doing business with certain entities there, which prevents the energy giants from entering into joint ventures.
Myanmar had 11.8 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves at the end of 2010 and state-owned Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise says there were about 206 million barrels of proven recoverable oil reserves as of April 2006. What’s more Myanmar’s economic isolation from the west meant that despite the presence of energy firms from Asia a large portion of the country hasn’t been explored for oil and natural gas.