Woodside withdraws from Myanmar for human rights reasons


Woodside, Australia’s largest independent oil and gas company, has ceased operations in Myanmar. This is because development is out of the question because of human rights abuses by the military government.

Almost a year after the military coup that killed about 1,500 civilians, global oil companies Total and Chevron announced on January 20 and 21, respectively, that they would withdraw from Myanmar for human rights reasons. Did.

Meanwhile, another global giant, Woodside’s partner, Shell, abandoned his domestic exploration license last year.

The first ultra-deep sea oil rig in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Myanmar was Woodside’s latest joint venture. But this outlook is no longer possible.

“Given the current situation in Myanmar, we can no longer think of Woodside’s participation in the development of A-6 gas resources and other future activities in the country,” Woodside Chief Executive Officer Megoonir said in January. I mentioned it in the ASX announcement on the 27th. ..

The decision will amortize $ 195 million ($ 138 million) from net income after tax in 2021. According to the company, this amount does not include $ 101 million (US $ 71 million) in exploration and valuation for the December quarter.

According to Daisy Gardener, Head of Human Rights at the Australian Corporate Responsibility Center, business and shareholder outcomes benefit from security, peace and stability.

“Myanmar’s gas project generates an estimated US $ 1 billion (A $ 1.4 billion) in foreign income each year for the military regime, so the permanent withdrawal of Woodside from the country would buy weapons and the future. It will hurt your ability to fund the atrocities of the country, “she said. ..

Epoch Times Photo
Protesters knelt beside soldiers on December 5, 2021, after being detained in Yangon, Myanmar, after being cracked down by security forces. (STR / AFP via Getty Images)

Nonetheless, other ASX-listed companies have not indicated their intention to waive their domestic exploration licenses.

“Future businesses and profits will be disrupted by ongoing unrest, and human rights abuses pose unacceptable risks to shareholders,” Gardener said.

O’Neill said Woodside no longer has a possible route to keep it operational, despite the previous hope of developing gas resources and supplying energy to the people of Myanmar.

In addressing the criticism that Woodside took too long to withdraw, she is responsible for investing in Myanmar, whose actions are UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other links. Said that it complies with international standards.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch is calling for the United Nations to impose a global arms embargo on Myanmar, and other governments are trying to prevent gas revenues from funding more atrocities in the country. , Calling for more action.

Since operating in Myanmar in 2013, Woodside has launched multiple exploration and drilling campaigns.

Oil producers said they would make an arrangement to officially withdraw from Myanmar. This includes the cancellation of production sharing contracts signed with local governments.

According to the company, withdrawal costs will not affect the next dividend payment.

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