Chevron condemns the violence and human rights abuses occurring in Myanmar. We stand with the people of Myanmar and the global community in urging for a peaceful resolution that respects the will of the people.
Chevron’s affiliate, Unocal Myanmar Offshore Co. Ltd. (UMOCL), has been in Myanmar since the early 1990s. UMOCL holds a minority, non-operated interest in the Yadana Project, which produces natural gas for domestic use and export to Thailand.
The humanitarian crisis in Myanmar requires a collective response to improve the welfare of the people of Myanmar. We are prepared to do what we can to support immediate needs and long-term development as soon as the situation allows.
There are calls for further action against the military regime. We will comply with any sanctions imposed by the U.S. government. Some people have called for the gas to be shut off – while others ask that funds to Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), Myanmar’s state-owned energy company and primary regulator, be placed in escrow. Any actions should be carefully considered to ensure the people of Myanmar are not further disadvantaged by unintended and unpredictable consequences of well-intentioned decisions.
Gas produced by the Yadana Project is used to supply electricity for approximately half the population of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, and also for people in Thailand. Effectively turning off the power to half of Yangon’s homes, schools and hospitals – in the middle of a state of emergency and a pandemic – risks creating even more hardship.
There has been debate on the benefits of the continued presence of U.S. business in Myanmar. We believe responsible companies like ours that work to protect the human rights of their employees and support local communities with basic human needs including healthcare, education and energy, have a role to play in Myanmar today and in the future. We also consider that any action we take in breach of agreements and laws may open the door for another company that doesn’t share our values to take our place.
Bearing this in mind, the Yadana Project operator, Total, has announced it will discontinue new investment in Myanmar and will continue only to produce gas to meet the needs of the people and businesses who rely on it. We support that position.
We also support the decision by shareholders in the pipeline company to suspend payment of the dividend to shareholders, including MOGE, which is permitted under the terms of the relevant contract.
The situation is undoubtedly complex in Myanmar and we share the desire for lasting solutions. We will continue to engage constructively with governments, responsible business, and civil society to help deliver a brighter future for Myanmar.
The Statement by Concerned Businesses Operating in Myanmar that we signed, states: “We hope to see a swift resolution of the current situation based on dialogue and reconciliation in accordance with the will and interests of the people of Myanmar.” The international community, such as ASEAN, has a key role in helping to create the conditions for this outcome.
What is most needed right now are thoughtful, concerted and constructive actions that put Myanmar back on the path to being a peaceful and prosperous nation, avoiding further harm to its people during a humanitarian crisis.