Photo: Illustration. Source: Petronas

Workers stranded offshore Myanmar after military coup

Over a hundred workers are left stranded off the coast of Myanmar after a military coup in the country last week.

Malaysian oil and gas giant Petronas has said it is helping the workers stranded on the Yetagun oil rig located offshore Myanmar.

In a statement on Sunday, Petronas said it was extending the necessary efforts to ensure the safety of about 155 workers of an unnamed contractor on a barge to the Yetagun oil rig.

The Petronas-operated Yetagun field, consisting of Yetagun Main and Yetagun North, is located in the Andaman Sea, offshore of Myanmar in Blocks M12, M13, and M14.

In response to news reports claiming that the workers are stranded offshore following a military coup in Myanmar, Petronas reassured that it was in close contact with the team and working closely with the contractor in overseeing the well-being of their workers.

The oil company also said it was ensuring continuous supplies of essentials, including food, drinking water and fuel.

Another 36 workers under the contractor and 2 Petronas employees were already transported to nearby hotels for onshore rest and recovery while observing COVID-19 quarantine requirements, Petronas added.

Petronas is working closely with its contractor, the Embassy of Malaysia in Myanmar, Wisma Putra, and all relevant authorities in managing this matter.

“The safety and well-being of our contractors and their families are our utmost priority”, the company concluded.

Last week, on 1 February 2021, the military staged a coup in Myanmar arresting civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other politicians.

As a result, the country saw its largest protests in more than a decade, as tens of thousands of people rallied against the military coup and demanded the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, according to a Sunday report by BBC.

Myanmar upstream projects at risk of delay

Commenting on the current developments in the country and its effects on the oil and gas industry, Wood Mackenzie research associate, Saloni Kapoor, said: “We estimate that new upstream projects worth $2 billion up until 2030 are yet to take final investment decision, including the A6 project which now risks further delay”.

“Key developments such as PTTEP’s Block M9 (Zawtika) and Woodside’s Block A6 account for around 40% of the country’s expected supply until 2030. Incremental phases at Zawtika will provide upside to Myanmar’s energy mix, but if A6 does not progress as planned, an estimated 2 tcf of gas supply is threatened. This supply is critical to make up for declining volumes from legacy fields.

“The corporate landscape is dynamic. Five of the largest investors were to invest around US$2.5 billion in projects over the next five years. However, ESG risk exposure now adds downside risk here, in which case that landscape could change quickly if investor sentiment is dampened”.