France's TotalEnergies withdraws from Myanmar

© Reuters.

PARIS (Reuters) -French energy group TotalEnergies said on Friday it had decided to withdraw from Myanmar because of the worsening human rights situation there, becoming the latest Western company to pull out following a coup there last year.

“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 in a statement.

“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 shareholder, without any financial compensation for TotalEnergies.”

TotalEnergies said it had notified its partners in Myanmar of its withdrawal, which will become effective at the latest at the expiry of a 6-month contractual period.

Past agreements stipulate that TotalEnergies’ interests will be shared between the current partners, unless they object to such an allocation, and that the role of operator will be taken over by one of them, it said.

TotalEnergies said it has been a partner and operator of the Yadana gas field’s blocks M5 and M6 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 Yadana field produces around 6 billion cubic metres per year of gas, TotalEnergies said in the statement. About 70% is exported to Thailand where it is sold to PTT and 30% to MOGE for domestic use, TotalEnergies said in the statement.

“This gas helps to provide about half of the electricity in the Burmese capital Yangoon and supplies the western part of Thailand,” it said.

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