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ASEAN+3 energy ministers' meeting kicks off in Myanmar
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A meeting of energy ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus China, Japan and South Korea (ASEAN+3) officially kicked off in Myanmar's second largest city of Mandalay Wednesday.

The meeting, which came after the ASEAN+3 Senior Officials Meeting on Energy on Tuesday, will be followed by another 3rd East Asia Summit Energy Ministers' Meeting (EAS-EMM).

The 6th ASEAN+3 Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM+3) is attended by Vice Minister of National Energy Administration Liu qi from the Chinese side.

The AMEM+3 will highlight cooperation on building oil reserve system in the region to cope with increasing demand for oil in the Asian region and rising oil prices in the future.

A working level talks of the ASEAN will also take place with the three East Asian countries to work out their respective countries' plan to build up oil reserves.

The 5th AMEM+3 meeting was held in Thailand's Bangkok in August last year.

Myanmar has attracted foreign involvement in oil and gas exploration in the country mainly from such ASEAN member countries as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia as well as from China, Japan and South Korea.

Myanmar has abundance of natural gas resources especially in the offshore areas. With three main large offshore oil and gas fields and 19 onshore ones, Myanmar has proven recoverable reserve of 18.012 trillion cubic-feet (TCF) or 510 billion cubic-meters ( BCM) out of 89.722 TCF or 2.54 trillion cubic-meters (TCM)'s estimated reserve of offshore and onshore gas, experts said, adding that the country is also estimated to have 3.2 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil reserve.

Official statistics reveal that foreign investment in Myanmar's oil and gas sector had reached 3.398 billion U.S. dollars in 89 projects as of the end of May 2009, standing the second in the country's foreign investment spectrally after electric power.

According to the Central Statistical Organization, in the fiscal year 2008-09, Myanmar produced 6.89 million barrels of crude oil and 11.381 BCM of gas.

More statistics showed that during the year, Myanmar gained 2. 384 billion dollars from exporting 10.674 BCM of natural gas.

(Xinhua News Agency July 29, 2009)

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