PTTEP Holds 63% Stake in Myanmar’s Yadana Gas Field after Chevron’s Exit

Chevron, an American energy company, has officially pulled out of the Yadana natural gas field in Myanmar, as confirmed by a spokesperson on Monday. This decision comes over two years after denouncing the violence and human rights violations in the country and declaring its intention to leave. Instead of selling its 41.1% stake in the gas field, Chevron’s share has been redistributed to the remaining stakeholders, namely Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (SET: PTTEP) and the state-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).

PTTEP, the current operator of the gas field, announced on Friday that its ownership in the Yadana project has now risen to 62.96%. The withdrawal from the gas field aligns with Chevron’s strategy to depart from Myanmar in a controlled and systematic manner, particularly in light of the political turmoil following the coup in February 2021 and the persistent humanitarian crisis in the country.

Amid the upheaval caused by the military’s overthrow of the elected government in Myanmar, Chevron’s exit is seen as a significant development. The Yadana field, situated in the Gulf of Martaban, has been pivotal in delivering approximately 6 billion cubic meters of gas annually, with a majority being exported to Thailand and the rest supplied for domestic consumption.

The military junta, which seized control through the 2021 coup, has faced accusations of widespread atrocities against civilians by international rights groups and UN observers. Although the regime justifies its actions as a fight against “terrorists,” international calls to halt the violence have largely been disregarded.

Chevron’s decision to withdraw from Myanmar has been attributed to sustained pressure from civil society organizations like Justice for Myanmar, who have raised concerns over the financial contributions from the gas project benefiting the military regime. Despite the initial plans to sell its assets in Myanmar, including the stake in the Yadana gas field, Chevron has instead opted out of the deal.

By enforcing sanctions on specific financial activities related to MOGE, the U.S. administration under President Joe Biden has taken direct measures to undermine the military junta’s control over the enterprise. While refraining from commenting on individual companies, the U.S. Treasury’s actions underscore the efforts to address the ongoing crisis in Myanmar.