Thursday, January 26, 2023

TotalEnergies severs business with Myanmar over human rights abuses

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TotalEnergies has withdrawn from the Yadana field and from the Moattama Gas Transportation Company (MGTC) in Myanmar, both as shareholder and operator.

The major said its decision follows continuing deterioration of the human rights situation in Myanmar and resulted from an assessment that it could no longer contribute in a sufficiently positive manner to the country. The company said it also could not meet stakeholders’ expectations for it to stop the revenues going to the state through the state-owned company, Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), from production at the Yadana field.

TotalEnergies had made the announcement that it would withdraw from Myanmar in January. It said that the withdrawal became effective on July 20, consistent with the contractual six-month notice period. The withdrawal, it added, was made in compliance with sanctions imposed by Europe in February.

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“Since January 2022, TotalEnergies has continued to act as a responsible operator and has undertaken due diligence to ensure its withdrawal in a responsible manner towards its stakeholders in Myanmar, including its employees as well as the long-standing supported local communities,” TotalEnergies said. “As such, TotalEnergies worked closely with PTTEP, Thailand’s national company, which was appointed as the new operator by the project partners, to guarantee the continuity and safety of production at the Yadana gas field while ensuring an orderly transfer of operations.”

The company said all its employees in Myanmar were offered employment with the new operator, under the same terms and conditions. It said it also set up a complementary support agreement, through a contribution to a dedicated fund, set up between TotalEnergies and PTTEP to continue an economic development program with local communities in the MGTC pipeline area.

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As a final note in its departure from Myanmar, TotalEnergies repeated its condemnation of the abuses and human rights violations taking place in the country, and said it hopes for a swift return to peace and the rule of law.

TotalEnergies currently has a 35% working interest in Guyana’s offshore Canje block alongside JHI Associates, Inc. (17.5%), Mid-Atlantic Oil & Gas, Inc. (12.5%), and operator ExxonMobil (35%). It also has 25% stake in the Kanuku block, which is also partly owned by Tullow (37.5%) and the operator, Repsol (37.5%).

Myanmar has been in a state of conflict since its military seized power over a year ago. OilNOW understands that Chevron and Woodside have also withdrawn from the country.

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