Woodside Exits Myanmar Almost One Year After Coup
Australian oil and gas company Woodside has followed the lead of Chevron and TotalEnergies and decided to withdraw from its interests in Myanmar.
Woodside has operated in Myanmar since 2013, conducting multiple exploration and drilling campaigns. It holds a 40 percent participating interest in the A-6 Joint Venture as joint operator and participating interests in exploration permits AD-1 and AD-8.
The company had previously announced that it was placing all Myanmar business decisions under review following the State of Emergency declared in February 2021 and the deteriorating human rights situation in the country.
In 2021, Woodside completed the relinquishment of exploration permits covering offshore Blocks AD-2, AD-5, and A-4 and is in the process of withdrawing from Blocks AD-6, AD-7, and A-7.
Woodside will now begin arrangements to formally exit Blocks AD-1 and AD-8, the A-6 Joint Venture, and the A-6 production sharing contract held with the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).
The non-cash expense associated with the decision to withdraw from Blocks A-6 and AD-1 is expected to impact 2021 net profit after tax by approximately $138 million. This is in addition to the $71 million exploration and evaluation expense for Block AD-7 disclosed in Woodside’s Fourth Quarter Report on January 20, 2022. These costs will be excluded from the underlying NPAT for the purposes of calculating the dividend.
Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said while Woodside had hoped to develop the A-6 gas resources with its joint venture participants and deliver much-needed energy to the Myanmar people, there was no longer a viable option for Woodside to continue its activities.
“Woodside has been a responsible foreign investor in Myanmar since 2013 with our conduct guided by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other relevant international standards,” she claimed.
“Given the ongoing situation in Myanmar we can no longer contemplate Woodside’s participation in the development of the A-6 gas resources, nor other future activities in-country,” O’Neill added.
To remind, energy majors Chevron and TotalEnergies announced less than a week ago that they would withdraw from the country. This was seen as a win for activists who have campaigned for the companies to cut off what is a major source of revenue for the military junta.
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