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Oil giants TotalEnergies, Chevron announce withdrawal from Myanmar over rights violations

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Naypyidaw | January 22, 2022 1:51:02 AM IST
Oil giants TotalEnergies and Chevron are withdrawing from Myanmar due to the deteriorating situation in the country following the military coup in February 2021.

The situation has been worsening since the beginning of 2021, when the military took over the country, ousting the democratically elected government. Besides, the killing of scores of people, about 10,000 people across Myanmar have been displaced by clashes.

French oil company TotalEnergies said in a statement that the situation in Myanmar prompted them to reassess its business activities in the country. The French company has concluded that it can no longer make a financial contribution to the Burmese state.

"Following the coup of 1st February 2021 in Myanmar, TotalEnergies has firmly condemned on several occasions the abuses and human rights violations taking place there. Since then, our company's decisions have been guided by clear principles: to halt all our ongoing projects, but to continue to produce gas from the Yadana field, which is essential for supplying electricity to the local Burmese and Thai population, to protect our employees from the risk of criminal prosecution or forced labour," the company said in a statement.

TotalEnergies has been a partner and operator of the Yadana gas field in Myanmar since 1992, alongside its partners Unocal-Chevron, PTTEP, a subsidiary of the Thai national energy company PTT, and the Burmese state-owned company MOGE.

The company said it has decided to withdraw from Myanmar over the rule of law issues and human rights violations that continue to worsen in the country since last year's coup.

"As a result, TotalEnergies has decided to initiate the contractual process of withdrawing from the Yadana field and from MGTC in Myanmar, both as operator and as a shareholder, without any financial compensation for TotalEnergies. This withdrawal has been notified today to TotalEnergies' partners in Yadana and MGTC and will be effective at the latest at the expiry of the 6-month contractual period," the company said.

Chevron also said it was also quitting the country keeping in mind the well-being of employees, American news network CNN reported.

"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," a Chevron spokesperson said.

"As non-operator with a minority interest in the project, our immediate priority remains the safety and well-being of employees, safe operations and the supply of much-needed energy for the people of Myanmar and Thailand," the spokesperson added. (ANI)

 
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