China’s plan to build a gas pipeline with 12 billion cubic metres annual capacity to transport fuel from Myanmar’s offshore oil deposits to south west China is due to come onstream in the next two years.
China also plans to install another pipeline that will annually transport 12 million tonnes of oil, however, an exact date of its launch has not been set, according to Reuters.
China faces the risk of installing pipelines in a country that has witnessed several spates of civil strife in recent years, which could spread into China.
In August 2009, thousands of refugees entered China following a conflict between Myanmar’s military and the Kokang rebel group.
China, however, is ready to install pipelines in Myanmar to avoid transporting fuel through the Malacca Strait where nearly 80% of Chinese oil imports are transported.
China has concerns that during a conflict energy supplies that are carried through the Strait could be cut off.