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    France’s TotalEnergies says Myanmar exit now effective

    PARIS (AFP) – French oil and gas giant TotalEnergies said yesterday that its planned withdrawal from Myanmar, announced six months ago, has now come into effect.

    “TotalEnergies has definitively pulled out of Myanmar,” the energy giant said in a statement.

    “In line with the six-month timetable laid down in the agreements, the withdrawal is effective from Wednesday.”

    The French energy giant and United States (US) partner Chevron had 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 had said at the time.

    The field in the Andaman Sea provides electricity to Myanmar and neighbouring Thailand.

    A signboard for TotalEnergies EP Myanmar seen behind a shuttered gate in Yangon, after energy giants TotalEnergies and Chevron said they would leave Myanmar following pressure from human rights groups. PHOTO: AFP

    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 said natural gas projects are Myanmar’s single largest source of foreign currency revenue, generating more than USD1 billion every year.

    TotalEnergies had said its withdrawal from Yadana and the Moattama Gas Transportation Company (MGTC) pipeline took effect yesterday. The company’s 31.4-per-cent stake in the Yadana gas field was the biggest in a consortium that included Chevron, Thai firm PTTEP and Myanmar’s army-controlled MOGE.

    The French company’s stake was to be taken over by PTTEP and Chevron. While Chevron would now hold the biggest stake at 41.1 per cent, a spokesman for the US company confirmed its plan to leave Myanmar, though it had not yet fixed a date to do so.

    The spokesman told AFP Chevron favoured an orderly and planned transition.

    PTTEP said earlier this week that it would take over the running of the Yadana gas field in July.

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