PARIS: France’s TotalEnergies said yesterday that it would not seek financial compensation for its withdrawal from Myanmar over concerns about human rights abuses since a coup last year. The French energy giant and US partner Chevron announced in January that they would pull out of the Yadana gas field, with TotalEnergies citing the “worsening” situation for human rights and the rule of law. “In light of the exceptional situation, TotalEnergies has chosen to withdraw from Myanmar without seeking any financial compensation for its assets,” the company said in a statement.
The field in the Andaman Sea provides electricity to Myanmar and neighboring Thailand. TotalEnergies had been under pressure from human rights groups to cut its financial links to the junta since the army seized power from a civilian government in February 2021. Human Rights Watch says natural gas projects are Myanmar’s single largest source of foreign currency revenue, generating more than $1 billion every year. TotalEnergies said its withdrawal from Yadana and the MGTC pipeline would take effect on July 20.
The company’s 31.4 percent stake in the Yadana gas field was the biggest in a consortium that included Chevron, Thai firm PTTEP and Myanmar’s army-controlled MOGE. TotalEnergies said PTTEP will take over its equity share. The Thai company said earlier this week that it would take over the running of the Yadana gas field in July. While Chevron has said it will also exit the Yadana gas field, the French firm said that the US company “has also decided to take over TotalEnergies’ equity share, thereby increasing its stake in Myanmar”. – AFP