TotalEnergies Backs Out of Myanmar

The French oil and gas giant has decided to pull out of Myanmar following a coup that took place in early 2021.

Map Myanmar (Burma)
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“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,” the company said.

French oil and gas giant TotalEnergies has decided to pull out of Myanmar following a coup that took place in February 2021. “TotalEnergies has firmly condemned on several occasions the abuses and human rights violations taking place there,” the company said in a press release.

The company said that, while it halted ongoing projects in the country, it wanted to continue producing from the Yadana field, which it says is crucial for providing energy to the local Burmese and Thai populations. It said, however, that it wanted to stop revenue from flowing to Myanmar’s national oil company.

“In fact, this is materially impossible for TotalEnergies,” the company said in the statement, “as most of the payments for the sale of the gas are made directly by the Thai company PTT, the buyer of the exported gas.”

TotalEnergies also reported that it lobbied the French government to impose sanctions that would confine all the revenue of the various partners to escrow accounts without shutting down the gas production. “TotalEnergies has not identified any means for doing so,” it said.

TotalEnergies, therefore, decided to begin withdrawing from the Yadana field and from the Moattama Gas Transportation Company in Myanmar, both as operator and as shareholder, without any financial compensation. The withdrawal will be effective after a 6-month contractual period, and TotalEnergies’ interests will be shared between the current partners, unless they object. One of the partners will take over as operator.