France’s TotalEnergies and US oil giant Chevron are withdrawing from Myanmar amid the worsening of the law and order situation in the country following a coup last year.
The company will withdraw from two main projects in the South-East Asian country including Yadana gas field, which produce 6 billion cubic metres per year of gas, and from MGTC pipeline that carries gas to neighbouring Thailand.
“While our company considers that its presence in a country allows it to promote its values, including outside its direct sphere of operations, the situation, in terms of human rights and more generally the rule of law, which have kept worsening in Myanmar since the coup of February 2021, has led us to reassess the situation and no longer allows TotalEnergies to make a sufficiently positive contribution in the country,” it said.
The company will withdraw from the Yadana field and from MGTC, “as operator and as shareholder, without any financial compensation for TotalEnergies”.
Meanwhile, US company Chevron, which is also a partner in Yadana project, will be making a similar move, the company said in a statement to The National.
“In light of circumstances in Myanmar, we have reviewed our interest in the Yadana natural gas project to enable a planned and orderly transition that will lead to an exit from the country," Chevon said.
Myanmar was plunged into crisis when the military overthrew leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her government on February 1, drawing international condemnation and triggering daily protests and fighting between the military and ethnic minority insurgents. More than 1,300 people are reported to have been killed by security forces, according to Assistance Association For Political Prisoners.
TotalEnergies has been under pressure from shareholders and civil society organisations to halt its operations in the country following the coup.
The French oil and gas company has been active in Myanmar since 1992 as an operator of Yadana gas field along with other partners including Unocal-Chevron, Thailand’s PTTEP and the Burmese state-owned company MOGE (Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise). It is also a shareholder in MGTC pipeline that carries gas from Yadana field to the Burmese-Thai border for export to Thailand.
TotalEnergies' partners in Yadana and MGTC have been notified of the French company's withdrawal, which will be effective at the expiry of the six-month contractual period.
TotalEnergies' interests in the two projects will be shared "between the current partners, unless they object to such allocation, and that the role of operator will be taken over by one of the partners", the company said.