HSIPAW, Myanmar — The Sino-Burmese Pipeline is a massive, $2.5 billion project intended to ensure China’s energy security well into the 21st century. It follows the Burma Road up from the Irrawaddy River plain through the Shan Hills and finally, into China.
When completed, the pipeline’s double-barreled conduits will annually deliver 22 million tons of oil and 12 billion cubic meters of gas to destinations within China’s Yunnan Province.
Much of this will be used to alleviate the severe oil shortages that strike the fast-growing Yunnan with increasing regularity. The rest of it will be processed and refined inside the region, then shipped on to other, equally oil-thirsty regions within China.