BEIJING, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- The China National Petroleum Corp. said it expects to start moving oil and natural gas through pipelines to Myanmar as early as June.
Gao Jianguo, director of Myanmar pipeline projects for CNPC, said pressure tests on oil and natural gas pipelines should start next month and both should begin operating in early June, reports China's state-run news agency Xinhua.
The contractor said pipeline sections in Myanmar have been completed while similar advancements in Chinese territory are expected this month.
The 683-mile pipelines will run from western Myanmar ports to China's southern Yunnan province. Crude oil deliveries will arrive by maritime transport from the Indian Ocean.
Xinhua reports the pipelines are designed to carry more than 22 million tons of oil and more than 420 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year.
"The channels will significantly increase the energy supply to the country's underdeveloped southwestern regions," the Chinese report stated.
International investors are examining business opportunities in the Myanmar energy sector as world governments ease sanctions on the country because of political reforms. A relatively strong Chinese economy, meanwhile, is reshaping oil and natural gas demand dynamics on the international market.