TotalEnergies closes Myanmar chapter
French-headquartered energy giant TotalEnergies has completed all the required steps to pull out of Myanmar while Thailand’s PTTEP has taken over the operatorship helm at the Yadana offshore gas field.
Back in January 2021, TotalEnergies announced its decision to withdraw from its operations in Myanmar, specifically the Yadana field and gas transportation company MGTC, both as a shareholder and as an operator, without any financial compensation amid a worsening situation following last year’s military coup in the country.
This decision resulted from the firm’s assessment that it was no longer able to make a “sufficiently positive contribution” in the country, and was not able to meet the expectations of stakeholders who were asking it to stop the revenues going to the Burmese state through the state-owned company MOGE from the Yadana field production.
After revealing its decision, TotalEnergies continued to act as a “responsible” operator, undertaking 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.
By March, the company was already implementing the decision with PTTEP taking over as the new operator as well as taking on TotalEnergies’ employees in the country to guarantee the “continuity and safety” of production at the Yadana gas field while ensuring an “orderly” transfer of operations.
The French giant elaborated that all its employees in Myanmar were offered “employment with the new operator, under the same job and salary conditions, thus securing their professional future.” Moreover, a complementary support agreement, through a contribution to a dedicated fund, was also set up between TotalEnergies and PTTEP to continue the “historic” economic development programme with local communities in the MGTC pipeline area.
Therefore, in line with the contractual six-month notice period, the French major’s withdrawal became effective on Wednesday, 20 July 2022. The company highlighted that the withdrawal was made in compliance with the European sanctions put in place in February 2022.
“As TotalEnergies definitively withdraws from Myanmar, our company repeats its condemnation of the abuses and human rights violations taking place in this country and reaffirms its support to the people of Myanmar and its hope for a swift return to peace and rule of law” concluded the French player in its statement.
Two more oil and gas players, Chevron and Woodside, followed suit and also decided to exit Myanmar. Unlike TotalEnergies, Chevron decided to withdraw from the Yadana field through a transaction, which serves to provide greater control over incoming JV parties.
Meanwhile, PTTEP and Malaysia’s Petronas disclosed in April 2022 intentions to withdraw from another field offshore Myanmar.