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  1. #1
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    Burma: Abuses Rampant Along Gas Pipeline: Rights Group

    Abuses Rampant Along Gas Pipeline: Rights Group
    By MIN LWIN
    Thursday, May 7, 2009

    A gas pipeline in southern Burma is the scene of widespread rights violations, including forced labor and land confiscation, according to a new report released by the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM).

    The 104-page report, titled “Laid Waste: Human Rights along the Kanbauk to Myaing Kalay gas pipeline,” accuses Burma’s military government of committing “systemic, shocking and ongoing” abuses along the 186-mile (300 km) pipeline.



    “The Burmese government’s Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise [MOGE] operates the Kanbauk to Myaing Kalay gas pipeline project, so the government bears responsibility for these human rights violations,” said Aue Mon from HURFOM, speaking to The Irrawaddy on Thursday.

    The report details widespread human rights violations ranging from the daily commandeering of motorcycles and chickens to rape and summary executions.

    It also says that more than 15,000 acres of land have been confiscated to make room for the pipeline and to support 30 army battalions tasked with protecting it since construction began in 2000.

    “They have already confiscated many acres of land. My land and plantations cost about 4 million kyat [US $4,000],” said one villager quoted in the report. “They took it without paying me one kyat.”

    The report also details the rampant use of forced labor in the area along the pipeline. It says that local people, including children as young as 12, are routinely forced to do maintenance work on the pipeline, and to guard it and carry equipment for soldiers, at all times under threat of violent retribution for accidents or insurgent attacks.

    “In one month, I was forced three to four times to be a porter… It was difficult, and we were beaten all the time,” said Nai Lot, 65, from the village of Mihtawhlagyi in Ye Township.

    The abuses are “the predictable result of deploying large numbers of soldiers and encouraging them to extract what they can from the countryside, without oversight,” according the report.

    “But abuses along the pipeline are also a deliberate, calculated part of the pipeline security effort,” it adds.

    “There should be no question: projects like the Kanbauk to Myaing Kalay gas pipeline do not benefit the people of our country,” said Kasauh Mon, the director of HURFOM.

    The Kanbauk-Myaing Kalay pipeline begins at the Total Pipeline Center near the town of Kanbauk in Yebyu Township, Tenasserim Division, and passes through five townships in Mon State and Tenasserim Division, ending in Myaing Kalay in Karen State, where the gas is used in government cement factories.

    Burma’s pipelines have long been controversial, with rights groups claiming that they are built on land taken from local people, often using their unpaid labor. They also attract a heavy military presence, resulting in further abuses, rights groups say.

    The British company Premier Oil, which signed a contract with MOGE in 1990 to extract gas from the Yetagun gas fields in the Andaman Sea, and the French oil giant Total, which signed an agreement to harvest gas from the Yadana gas fields in 1992, have both accused of complicity in the Burmese regime’s routine rights violations.

    irrawaddy.org


    Download full report [PDF, 17.4 MB]

    Download report in five parts [PDF]

    Part I [2.9 MB] | Part II [3.14 MB] | Part III [3.37 MB] | Part IV [5.15 MB] | Part V [2.96 MB]

    rehmonnya.org

  2. #2
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    China starts building Burma pipeline

    China starts building Burma pipeline
    Tuesday, 03 November, 2009

    China's CNPC started building a crude port in Burma on 31 October, the China Petroleum Daily reported today, part of a pipeline project aimed at cutting out the long detour oil cargoes take through the congested Malacca Strait.

    The reported commencement of construction took place at least a month later than scheduled in earlier plans reported by China's state media.

    The port on Maday Island, Kyaukphyu Township in Burma's Rakhine state was the starting point for the 771-kilometre pipeline that would have a capacity of 12 million tonnes per year or 240,000 barrels per day in its first phase, the report said.

    It did not say when the port facility would be ready for use or when the pipeline would be built.

    CNPC also plans a gas pipeline from Burma with capacity of 12 billion cubic metres a year, scheduled to carry natural gas to south-western China in 2012.

    Burma activists have called for China to halt construction of the controversial pipelines, warning of instability and civil unrest if Myanmar's ruling junta continues to starve its people of energy.

    CNPC, China's largest oil and gas producer, operates most of its domestic businesses via listed PetroChina, while keeping politically-sensitive overseas businesses in its own hand.

    China, the world's second-largest oil user, has been keen to diversify its oil import routes, concerned about supply security. Around three quarters of China's oil imports in 2008 were from the Middle East and Africa and most cargos were shipped through the pirate-laden Malacca Strait.

    A crude pipeline with an initial capacity of 200,000 bpd started sending oil from Kazakhstan to China's north-west in 2006. A second transnational oil pipeline with a capacity of 300,000 bpd is under construction and expected to pump oil from Russia to northeastern China from late 2010, reported Reuters.

    upstreamonline.com

  3. #3
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    Weekly Business Roundup (November 7, 2009)
    WILLIAM BOOT

    French Firm among Developers Moving into Shwe Gas Field

    More foreign companies, including a French engineering specialist, have been hired to begin the multibillion dollar development of Burma’s Shwe offshore gas field.

    A consortium led by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries has secured a US $1.4 billion contract from main project controller Daewoo International to build and install a huge 40,000-tonne well platform and pipelines, plus a port terminal.

    Hyundai’s chief partner will be Paris-based DORIS Engineering, an offshore gas development specialist.

    In addition, the Indian government-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), a partner of Daewoo, has disclosed it will invest about $174 million in the Shwe development.

    Indian media this week quoted unnamed onGC officials as saying the firm will use its investment for gas production and marketing.

    ONGC and another state-owned firm, GAIL, have a combined stake in the Shwe project of more than 20 percent under main shareholder Daewoo, which disclosed recently that a total of $3.2 billion will be spent on bringing the Shwe gas ashore.

    India had hoped to buy most of the 200 billion cubic meters in two blocks of the Shwe field, but the Burmese government awarded virtually all of it to the Chinese state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation.



    China Confirms its Plan to use Burma as a Mideast Oil Conduit

    The state-owned oil giant China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) says it has begun constructing an oil pipeline which will run for nearly 800 kilometers through Burma from the Arakan coast to the Chinese province of Yunnan.

    Announcement of building work comes as the Chinese state-controlled media also for the first time confirmed that China is constructing an oil transshipment port on Ramree Island in Arakan State.

    Beijing claimed that CNPC had “started building” the deep-draft port at Kyaukphyu, when in fact the terminal has been under construction for some time and is reported to be well on the way to completion.

    The pipeline will be capable of transporting up to 12 million tonnes of crude oil a year, or 240,000 barrels per day, reported the Chinese official news agency Xinhua.

    This also marks the first time that China has confirmed it is using Burmese territory as a short-cut conduit to transit oil supplies from the Middle East and Africa.

    The formal announcement comes just days after a coordinated petition campaign by scores of human rights group left protest letters at Chinese embassies in Asia, Australia and Europe urging he Chinese government not to build oil and gas pipelines through Burma.

    It was said the groups are “gravely concerned” for communities living along the pipeline routes, citing past examples of abuse by the Burmese military when such projects are developed.

    irrawaddy.org

  4. #4
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    China’s ‘Business Special’ Train Route into Northern Burma
    WILLIAM BOOT
    Saturday, November 21, 2009

    Proposals by China to finance a railway 100 kilometers into northern Burma appear to be part of Beijing’s efforts to link its landlocked southwestern regions with the sea.

    The Chinese are negotiating to build the train route from the Jiegao trading zone on the border at Ruili down to Lashio, the main town in Burma’s Shan State.

    A dilapidated railway already links Lashio with the key port of Rangoon in Burma’s south.

    Chinese transport ministry officials have visited Burma to discuss the new train line, according to news agency report quoting the Yangon Times.

    Ruili is a rough wild west town which has become a transit point for both legal and illegal business in Burma for many Chinese.

    In April this year, China pledged infrastructure aid totaling US $39 million for roads and railways in Burma and Laos—money which will also benefit China’s trade links to the sea.

    irrawaddy.org

  5. #5
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    Gas ‘Demand’ in Burma to Double as Fuel Piped Abroad
    WILLIAM BOOT
    Saturday, November 21, 2009

    The state Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) has confirmed that only about 160 million cubic feet a day (c.f.d.) of gas from two major new production fields will go towards easing Burma’s acute power shortage.

    At the same time, MOGE admitted that Burma’s domestic gas “demand” from consumers will more than double, from 200 million c.f.d to 500 million c.f.d. No timetable was given.

    The figures were presented at an international oil and gas industry conference led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Bangkok this week.

    The 160 million c.f.d. will come from the 800 million c.f.d forecast to flow from new gas blocks being developed in the Shwe field in the Bay of Bengal and the Zawtika block in the Gulf of Martaban.

    Most of the gas, to be produced from 2013, will be sold to China and Thailand.

    Burma’s gas exports “earned the country” US $1.2 billion in the first five months of the current financial year which began in April, according to Rangoon’s Myanmar Times.

    Human rights and democracy groups allege that most of this money is pocketed by the military regime and secreted in bank accounts outside Burma.

    irrawaddy.org

  6. #6
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    In April this year, China pledged infrastructure aid totaling US $39 million for roads and railways in Burma and Laos—money which will also benefit China’s trade links to the sea.
    Clearly the Chinese have decided it far more economical to feed their huge energy needs by bringing oil, gas and other products from a deep water port in Burma via a land route through Burma, Thailand and Laos. This has to be disturbing to Singapore as they will lose significant shipping revenue.

    As they have demonstrated even in China, the toll their development takes on the human rights of these countries citizens is secondary to China's economic goals.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  7. #7
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    ^

    also has the added benefit of supplying immunity from a Malacca Straits blockage ..........................

  8. #8
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Indeed. There is one catch though. The Chinese will be in a position where they will have to make sure relations are kept on a "friendly" basis with the countries where the land crossings reside. The Russians problems with gas pipeline via the Ukraine come to mind.

  9. #9
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    suspect the Junta feel they have the upper hand , doubt the deal would have been done else wise .................

  10. #10
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    suspect the Junta feel they have the upper hand
    For now but they are not dealing with babes in the woods. Dealing with China carries some big potential risk to the junta.

  11. #11
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    Dealing with China carries some big potential risk to the junta.
    there's an elephant in the room fur sur ..............

    doubt the west would allow a Chinese annexation of Burma so their actual threat maybe perceived rather than actual ?

  12. #12
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Annexation no option but once all the infrastructure they need is in place the Chinese may decide it is in their best interest to support a "democratically" elected government in Burma.

  13. #13
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    The fucking frogs will do anything for money, won't they.

    Bastards.

  14. #14
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    support a "democratically" elected government

    your right of course , but hell we've seen that before , never as a successful long term option .

  15. #15
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    The fucking frogs will do anything for money, won't they.
    They will but they are not the only ones. The multinationals doing business in Burma are many. When it comes to making money, all suddenly lose any sense of moral obligation.

  16. #16
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    Swiber to lay Myanmar gas lines
    Published: Nov 25, 2009
    Offshore staff

    SINGAPORE -- Swiber Holdings has won its first pipeline installation contract offshore Myanmar. An unnamed oil and gas company has issued a Letter of Award valued at $77 million for laying of 150 km (93 mi) of subsea gas pipelines.

    Preparation for the project should get under way next month, with the installation program due to be completed in 2Q 2010.

    Swiber is expanding its vessel pool, in anticipation of increased demand for offshore construction work. The fleet currently comprises 34 offshore vessels and 10 construction vessels, and Swiber expects to own and operate a total of 52 vessels by 2011.

    offshore-mag.com

  17. #17
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    Burma : Chinese company wins ownership of Myanmar-China pipeline project

    Chinese company wins ownership of Myanmar-China pipeline project
    Dec 22, 2009

    Yangon - China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has secured exclusive ownership and management rights over a planned 771-kilometre, overland Myanmar-China crude oil pipeline, industry sources said Tuesday.

    The contract signing was witnessed by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and Maung Aye, vice chairman of Myanmar's ruling military junta, over the weekend in Naypyitaw, Myanmar's military capital, CNPC said in a statement posted on its website.

    Under the terms of the agreement, CNPC is allowed to outsource the construction and operation of the project to CNPC-controlled Southeast Asia Crude Pipeline Co Ltd.

    'The agreement also stipulates that Myanmar government shall ensure the company's ownership and exclusionary right to the pipeline and guarantee the safety of the pipeline,' the company statement said.

    The pipeline is to extend from Madeira on the western coast of Myanmar; run through Rakhine, Magway, Mandalay and Shan states; and enter China at Ruili in Yunnan province.

    It is to have an annual delivery capacity of 12 million tons in its first stage.

    The pipeline would allow China to shorten oil deliveries from the Middle East by cutting out the need for oil tankers to travel through the Malacca Straits.

    Xi witnessed the signing of 16 agreements during his two-day visit to Myanmar Saturday and Sunday.

    Four of the agreements were between the two governments and the remaining 12 were between private companies.

    China is Myanmar's fourth-largest foreign investor with a total investment of 1.3 billion dollars.

    Bilateral trade between the two neighbours reached 2.6 billion dollars in 2008.

    monstersandcritics.com

  18. #18
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    The pipeline would allow China to shorten oil deliveries from the Middle East by cutting out the need for oil tankers to travel through the Malacca Straits.
    No doubt China is dedicated to developing a direct land route for not just gas but a land bridge/road for all it's economic needs. Pretty much the same idea Imperial Japan had in WW2 except the Chinese are facing no opposition as did the Japanese. Avoiding the long trip and additional shipping cost around Singapore makes good sense.

  19. #19
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    Shocking news eh?

    And yet again we are reminded of why the world does fuck all against these kunts.

    "Four of the agreements were between the two governments and the remaining 12 were between private companies.

    China is Myanmar's fourth-largest foreign investor with a total investment of 1.3 billion dollars.

    Bilateral trade between the two neighbours reached 2.6 billion dollars in 2008. "
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

  20. #20
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    Interesting that they actually bothered to formalize ownership.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by robuzo
    Interesting that they actually bothered to formalize ownership.
    Could be they want everything "legal" in the real event the junta will not be around forever.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by robuzo
    Interesting that they actually bothered to formalize ownership.
    Could be they want everything "legal" in the real event the junta will not be around forever.
    Depending on who takes over once the junta is not around, the "we stole your assets fair and square" argument might not hold water. Of course, by then the PRC might have already moved a division or two into Mandalay.
    “You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think.” Dorothy Parker

  23. #23
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    FACTBOX - Pipelines from Myanmar to China
    Sources: Chinese state media, Shwe Gas Movement (Shwe Campaign Site — Shwe Gas Movement), Human Rights Watch.
    (Writing by Ben Blanchard and Chen Aizhu; editing by Emma Graham-Harrison and Sanjeev Miglani)
    Wed Feb 3, 2010

    Reuters - China will soon start receiving oil and gas through two controversial pipelines which run through military-ruled Myanmar.

    Here are some facts about the pipelines:

    WHAT THE PIPELINES WILL CARRY

    One pipeline will carry oil from the Middle East and Africa, which will be offloaded from tankers at a Myanmar port and then piped into China, so avoiding the narrow Malacca Strait.

    It will take 12 million tonnes of crude oil a year into China, roughly 6 percent of China's total imports last year, or about as much as the country imported from Sudan, its fifth largest supplier. There is no exact date for its opening yet.

    The other pipeline will have capacity to bring 12 billion cubic metres of Myanmar gas every year into China, and is expected to come online within the next two years.

    WHERE THE PIPELINES WILL BE LAID THROUGH


    Both pipelines will start from the Myanmar port of Kyauk Phyu in the western state of Rakhine (also known as Arakan), then head in a northeasterly direction towards the city of Mandalay before arriving in the Chinese border town of Ruili in southwestern Yunnan province.

    From there the pipelines go to Yunnan provincial capital Kunming and eventually on to the cities of Chongqing and Nanning.

    WHICH COMPANIES ARE INVOLVED

    CNPC, China's top oil and gas producer, is the main Chinese firm involved in the project. The firm does much of its business via listed PetroChina, while keeping politically-sensitive overseas operations in its own hand.

    PetroChina is at an early stage of planning a 200,000 barrels-per-day refinery in Kunming to process oil from the Myanmar pipeline.

    State-run Gail India will pick up a 4 percent stake in the refinery (?) and Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), will take another 8-8.5 percent, Indian media reported last month.

    Other partners in the blocks, operated by South Korea's Daewoo International, are Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise, and Korea Gas Corp.

    THE COST OF THE PROJECTS AND PROJECTED REVENUES


    The Shwe Gas Movement, which is campaigning against the pipelines, estimates the total cost of the oil and gas pipes at $3.5 billion. The development of the offshore fields for the gas component will cost more than $3 billion.

    But sales of the gas alone will generate more than $29 billion for the Myanmar government over the next three decades, they say, an important source of income for the sanctions-hit government.

    WHY THE PIPELINES ARE CONTROVERSIAL


    Rights groups say the people of Myanmar will see little of the money from the pipelines, with profits likely filtered away by the military government for their own purposes, like buying arms.

    Myanmar, one of the poorest countries in the world, suffers from serious energy shortages of its own.

    Rights groups also point to land confiscations to make way for the pipelines, and worry that the Myanmar military will resort to forced labour to construct the pipelines, as it has done in the past for similar projects.

    in.reuters.com

  24. #24
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    Thanks for the updates, Middy!

  25. #25
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    Burma’s gas scourge
    Monday, 19 April 2010



    Vast gas desposits off the coast of western Burma have proven a curse for the thousands of people deemed by the ruling junta to be standing in the way of its development.

    The construction of a multi-billion dollar pipeline connecting the Bay of Bengal gas fields to southwestern China has caused militarisation and displacement on an alarming scale, as the army looks to ’secure’ the route and thus the capital generated from what is known as the Shwe Gas Project, little of which will benefit Burmese people.

    Rights groups have warned of “systematic” and “shocking” human rights violations along the pipeline’s trajectory that include forced labour and forced displacement.

    Yet the Burmese government continues to aggressively expand its energy sector, with the vast majority of produce siphoned off to neighbouring countries.

    This, despite Burma suffering from daily power shortages.

    dvb.no

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