PARIS, France: Two of the largest energy companies have announced that they are leaving Myanmar, citing human rights abuses and deteriorating rule of law since the February military coup.
Total Energy and Chevron, two of the world's largest energy companies, have come under increasing pressure over their roles in running the offshore Yadana gas field, along with the state-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise and Thailand's PTT Exploration & Production.
Total operates the daily operations, while Myanma Oil and Gas collects revenues for the government.
Total said it will have left Myanmar within six months. Chevron gave no time line for what it described as a "planned and orderly transition that will lead to an exit from the country."
"The situation of rule of law and human rights in Myanmar has clearly deteriorated over months and despite the civil disobedience movements, the junta has kept power and our analysis is that it's unfortunately for the long term," Total said in a statement.
Speaking to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, a former employee told The Associated Press, "For the employees who still work for Total, it's bad news even if they oppose the dictatorship or fight against the military. But for me, as an ordinary person and not as an employee, I will say it is great news." Total said it would receive no compensation on leaving Myanmar, and would hand over its interests to the other stakeholders.
In the recent past, Chevron has condemned human rights abuses in Myanmar and said it would comply with international sanctions.