TWENTIETH CENTURY IMPRESSIONS OF BURMA.
in the extraction or refining of petroleum with a combined capital of $22,700.00.
The crude oil used to be piped from the wells to tanks on the river front, whence it was pumped into specially constructed flats or floating tanks which were towed to the refineries at or near Rangoon. This method of transportation proved rather expensive, and a system of pipe lines has been installed. The first section was about 45 miles in length, connecting the fields at Singu and Yenangyat with Yenangyaung, with
pumping stations at Singu and Yenangyat. About the same time another line was constructed to convey the oil from the tank boats to the refineries.
The filling in of the river near the storage tanks at Syriam, on the opposite side of the river from Rangoon, made it impossible for boats to get to the tanks. Consequently a pumping station was erected on the Pegu River, where there is a deep channel. Steel
pipes, tested to 2,000 lbs. per square inch, were laid under the river and connected with the storage tanks about 8,000 feet away. The successful operation of these lines led to the construction of a pipe line from Yenangyaung to Rangoon, a distance of 275 miles. Begun early in 1907, this line is now completed and will tend to material economy in the cost of transporting oil from the fields to the refineries. There are four pumping stations on this line each connected with Yenangyaung and Rangoon by telegraph.
Other Centres of Production.aOil is also produced in the districts of Kyaukpyu, Akyab, and Thayetmyo. Evidences of petroleum are also met with in the Minbu District, the Chindwin Valley, Pagan, and Prome. Prospecting is continually going on, and there is no doubt that there are many valuable wells as yet undiscovered or undeveloped.
From the Cheduba wells in the Kyaukpyu District a thick dark coloured oil is obtained
which is used for burning, for covering the bottoms of boats, and as a wood varnish. The amount obtained from these wells is, however, quite insignificant, about 80 maunds annually.
The methods used in obtaining this oil are primitive and wasteful. The earth is turned up to a depth of 2 feet over a surface of about 20 square yards round which a bank of soil is raised, forming, during the rains, a shallow pond. The oil rising to the surface of this pond is skimmed with a bamboo, and brought to the banks, then scooped up with
a cocoanut shell and placed in earthen pots. This operation takes place at daybreak when the temperature is lowest, as during the heat of the day it is difficult to separate the oil from the water.
In the months of March and April these ponds gradually dry up and the bottom of the pond is again dug up and prepared as in the first instance. The deeper the pond is dug the greater the seasonas product.
YENANGYAUNG OIL SPRINGS.YENANGYAUNG OIL SPRINGS.