Myanmar and fossil gas

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Energy Monitor coverage of fossil gas

Myanmar has a population of 54.6 million as of 2023.[1] The country's GDP growth rate was 2% in 2022 and is forecasted to be 2.8% in 2023 and 3.2% in 2024. [2]

Myanmar has one of the lowest electrification rates in Southeast Asia, with only 50% of the population having access to the grid.[3] [4] Under the National Electrification Programme 2015 (NEP), the government aims to enhance electrification to 100 percent by 2030. [5]

Fossil Gas in the Fuel Mix

In fiscal year 2021-2022, gas consumption in Myanmar was 135,807.34 million cubic feet (3.84 bcm).[4] Over 92% of the total was consumed by the power sector, while the remainder was used in the transport, fertilizer, industry, LPG, and refinery sectors. [4]

The total electricity generation was 19.99 TWh in 2020, with the primary sources being hydropower (53%) and gas (35%). [4] Due to rapid growth in electricity demand and variability in hydro output, Myanmar has been experiencing significant power shortages.[6]

According to Myanmar's 2017 Natural Gas Master Plan, gas demand will reach 1,142 mmcfd, or 11.8 bcm, in 2040.[7] While demand from the power sector is projected to dominate growth, the industrial and residential sectors are also forecasted to grow significantly.[7]

The master plan also forecasts that Industrial demand for gas will be concentrated in the Yangon and Mandalay regions. Gas use is projected to increase in the Thilawah Special Economic Zone (SEZ) due to increased electricity usage for manufacturing factories. Since gas infrastructure in the Yangon region has already been established, it is estimated that an additional investment of $3.5 million to meet the added industrial demand will be needed. However, in the Mandalay region, a pipeline network of more than 40km will be needed to meet forecasted industrial gas demand growth. The required total investment to develop industrial demand in the Mandalay region is estimated at $24.5 million.[7]

In the country's updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) submitted to UNFCCC in 2021, Myanmar committed to an emissions reduction target of 244.52 million tCO2e unconditionally and a total of 414.75 million tCO2e subject to international support by 2030.[8]

Fossil Gas Production, Imports, and Transportation

At the end of 2020, Myanmar had 15.3 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves.[9] At the current production rate, these reserves are expected to last for approximately 24.4 years.[9]

Total gas production in 2021 was 16.9 bcm. Pipeline exports in 2021 totalled 10.6 bcm, with 3.9 bcm to China and 6.7 bcm to Thailand. [10]

The exports to China and Thailand are governed by long-term contracts entered into in the 1990s when there was a surplus of offshore production compared to domestic demand.[11]

Myanmar's largest gas field is the offshore Yadana gas field, with a production capacity of 850 mmscf/d, followed by the Yetagun gas field, with a production capacity of 200 mmscf/d.[12] Approximately 75% of Yadana gas field's output is exported to Thailand.[13] Additional gas fields currently in production are the Shwe (production capacity of 300 mmscf/d) and Zawtika (production capacity of 200 mmscf/d) gas fields.[12] Gas production from the Yadana and Zawtika fields makes up approximately 65% of domestic gas production.[13]

The Schwe gas field is being developed in three phases. First gas from phase one was achieved in 2013, and phases two and three are currently under development. The Schwe gas project has received a lot of criticism and opposition due to its environmental impact and the faiure to allocate sufficient gas for domestic use.[14]

In mid-2020, Posco International discovered a new gas field with exploration well Mahar-1 in offshore Block A-3, which has an estimated 660 billion cubic feet of gas;[15] the gas flow is estimated at 38 mmscf/d.[16]

The Shwe Yee Htun gas field, which contains the A-6 and AD-1 blocks, is currently under exploration. Block A-6 is estimated to hold up to 3 trillion cubic feet of gas, and first gas is scheduled for 2023. Myanmar also has 56 open onshore/offshore blocks that have not yet been explored or offered to investors.[13]

Myanmar's Natural Gas Master Plan forecasts total domestic gas production at 1,350 mmcfd, or 13.95 bcm, in 2025, and 810 mmcfd, or 8.4 bcm, by 2040.[17] While new gas developments are being explored, this new production will not offset the decline in production from existing fields. Therefore LNG import projects are expected to make up the difference between supply and demand.[7]

In May and June 2020, Myanmar received its first LNG cargos at Thanlyin LNG floating storage unit.[4] The cargo was shipped from Petronas LNG Complex in Bintulu, Malaysia. The floating storage unit transfers LNG to an onshore regasification terminal. The resulting gas is then sent to the 400 MW Thaketa and 350 MW Thanlyin power plants.[4] The LNG-to-power project is owned, operated, and financed by a joint venture between China National Technical Import and Export Corporation and Hong Kong’s VPower Group - CNTIC VPower.[4] The imported LNG will also be supplied to the 1,250 GW Thilawa power project once it comes online in 2024. LNG cargoes have not been imported into the country since the second half of 2021.[4]

The 2020 Oxford Institute for Energy Studies report forecasts LNG imports around 3 mtpa, or 4.1 bcm, in 2030.[12]

Myanmar has 3,500 km of gas pipeline, 45 compressed gas (CNG) filling stations, and over 27,000 CNG vehicles.[4]

Government Agencies and Other Key Players in Gas Sector

The gas sector was governed by the Ministry of Energy and Electricity (MOEE) before it was reconstituted into two ministries, the Ministry of Energy (MOE) and the Ministry of Electric Power (MOEP), in 2022.[18]

It is expected that the MOE will now oversee the gas sector and relevant departments, including the Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), Myanma Petrochemical Enterprise (MPE), the Department of Oil and Gas Planning (OPGD), and the Petroleum Products Regulatory Department (PPRD). [18]

The MOEP will likely oversee the electricity-related departments, including the Department of Electric Power and Planning (DEPP), the Electric Power Generation Enterprise (EPGE), the Electricity Supply Enterprise (ESE), the Department of Power Transmission and System Control (DPTSC), and the Department of Hydropower Implementation (DHPI). [18]

Articles and Resources


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