Energy & Environment

Major oil producers withdraw from Myanmar, citing human rights

Major oil producers are withdrawing from Myanmar, citing the nation’s ongoing human rights violations. 

TotalEnergies and Chevron announced Friday they are ceasing energy production as Burmese authorities face accusations of torturing and abusing their citizens in the wake of last year’s military coup.

TotalEnergies said in a statement they will cease their production of gas in the Yadana field in six months at the latest, saying they only stayed this long to try to provide energy to the people in Myanmar. 

Although the company says it attempted to limit the financial flow to state-owned oil companies, “TotalEnergies has not been able to meet the expectations of many stakeholders (shareholders, international and Burmese civil society organisations), who are calling to stop the revenues going to the Burmese state through the state-owned company MOGE.”

TotalEnergies said it is withdrawing as an operator and shareholder to the field without financial compensation. 

“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.

Chevron also said it would pull out of the country and comply with any sanctions, but did not give a time table of when operations would end, The Associated Press reported.

Sanctions by the U.S. and Europe in response to the coup haven’t included oil and gas; 50 percent of foreign currency in Myanmar is from natural gas revenues, according to the AP.

The Hill has reached out to Chevron for further comment.

Tags Burma Chevron Myanmar Myanmar coup

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