For Chevron, the plan to withdraw from Myanmar took longer than TotalEnergies because of its decision to sell its stake instead of abandoning it. The American oil giant will sell its entire stake to a unit of Canada’s MTI Energy for an undisclosed amount of money
American oil giant Chevron is planning to sell its stake in Myanmar’s Yadana offshore natural gas field, leaving its operations in the country to a Canadian company. The move marks a long-planned withdrawal after Chevron came under criticism of facilitating human rights abuses by Myanmar’s military regime. Ever since the military takeover in Myanmar in 2021, foreign investors have shied away from the country to avoid facilitating the government, which derives its revenue from gas fields and other sources. Natural gas accounts for about one-fifth of Myanmar’s revenues.
Yadana is the country’s largest offshore gas field. Operations at the field started in 1998, with almost 60 to 70 percent of its production being exported to Thailand via a pipeline.
French energy company TotalEnergies, which was one of the main investors in the Yadana gas field, gave away its stake. In July 2022, the company announced it had withdrawn completely from Myanmar.
With Total’s withdrawal, Chevron’s stake in the gas field increased to 41.1 percent. Thailand’s PTTEP became the operator of the project and has a 37.1 percent stake. State-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) has a 21.8 percent interest in the Yadana project.
For Chevron, the plan to withdraw from Myanmar took longer because of its decision to sell its stake instead of abandoning it. The American oil giant will sell its entire stake to a unit of Canada’s MTI Energy for an undisclosed amount of money.
Abandoning its stake would have led to the partnership being redistributed to the other investors in accordance with their investment ratios. This would have increased MOGE’s stake in the project, putting even more money in the military administration’s coffers.
“Throughout this sale process we will continue to meet our commitments to protect our employees [and] manage an orderly and safe transition,” a company spokesperson said, as quoted by Nikkei.
The European Union had imposed sanctions on MOGE in 2022 on account of it being a key source of the military government’s finances. The EU had also called for an “immediate cessation of all hostilities, and an end to the disproportionate use of force and the state of emergency”.
Myanmar’s military government took power in 2021, after accusing Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party of “electron fraud”. Since then, the country has been mired in political turmoil, with mass protests against the military government being met with a crackdown. This has forced many civilians to take up arms against the junta.
Source: First Post