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AsianOil: TotalEnergies, Chevron announce Myanmar withdrawal

France’s TotalEnergies and US-based Chevron are withdrawing from Myanmar, citing the worsening situation in the country following last year’s coup. The two companies are partners in the Yadana natural gas project in the country.
TotalEnergies announced its exit in a press release on January 21, with Chevron confirming to Reuters the same day that it was also withdrawing from Myanmar.
The situation in the country has deteriorated since the coup took place in February 2021, with the army overthrowing Myanmar’s elected government and imprisoning the country’s leader, then-State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.
According to TotalEnergies, it was initially committed to continuing production at Yadana, saying the field was essential to the supply of electricity to both Myanmar and neighbouring Thailand. However, it added that the worsening situation in terms of human rights and the rule of law had caused it to reassess the situation.
This comes after the French company had explored various alternatives, including targeted sanctions to restrict revenues from Yadana going to the ruling junta via state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), which owns a 15% stake in the field.
TotalEnergies did not disclose the financial impact of its exit from Yadana, but told Reuters that Myanmar represents a minor part of its revenue. The company operates the field with a 31.24% interest, while Chevron holds 28.26%, Thailand’s PTTEP owns 25.5% and MOGE has the remaining 15%. Its withdrawal will become effective at the expiry of a six-month contractual period at the latest.
Chevron, for its part, is working on a “planned and orderly” transition to exiting Myanmar, according to a company spokesperson.
The Yadana field produces around 6bn cubic metres per year of gas, roughly 70% of which is exported to Thailand. A TotalEnergies spokesperson told Reuters that Thailand’s PTT would be a “natural” choice to take over the company’s Myanmar assets. PTTEP, a unit of PTT, told the news service that it was "carefully considering" how to proceed.