Myanmar pipeline project hits major snag

Plans to build an offshore/onshore natural gas pipeline in Myanmar have hit a snag after that country's prime minister ordered the scheme's configuration expanded to what project sponsors view as not commercially viable. Myanmar Premier Gen. Than Shwe ordered that the diameter of the proposed pipeline be increased to 36 in. rather than the 20 in. size planned by a consortium of Total, Unocal Corp., and Mitsui & Co. Industry sources said this would mean the cost of laying the 241-km pipeline from Yadana gas field in the Gulf of Martaban to Yangon (formerly Rangoon) would double from the group's earlier project estimate-prompting objections from the group. Industry...

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