Potential pipeline connectivity between the three countries can accelerate India’s Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for North-east India, as the government plans to make the North-east a hub of oil and gas transit.
India is planning Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) pipeline connectivity with the countries of Myanmar and Bangladesh, in an attempt to ensure energy security as well as counter China’s dominance. A proposal was initially discussed to connect the countries through a gas pipeline, however the plan was canceled as Myanmar went ahead with a pipeline to China. However, after the unstable energy markets due to the Ukraine war and guided by the Act East policy, India is again extending efforts to connect the gas grids of the three nations.
An official, familiar with the initiative, stated that “Pipeline connectivity with the eastern neighbors is being looked at as both the countries have large gas reserves and they should be willing to sell their produce.” Estimates from 2021 show that Myanmar’s reserves of natural gas stood at 22.5 trillion cubic feet. Although Bangladesh is facing a decline in its reserves, the government in Dhaka is making efforts to increase its reserves, taking up more exploration activities across the country.
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According to officials, the strategy is connecting the pipeline with the North East Natural Gas Pipeline Grid, which is operated by the Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited (IGGL) in Tripura. Queries sent to the ministries of petroleum, external affairs, the Bangladesh High Commission in Delhi and the embassy of Myanmar have been met with no response yet.