BANGKOK (AP) — Petronas, Malaysia’s state-owned oil and gas company, announced Friday that it is withdrawing from its participation in Myanmar’s offshore Yetagun natural gas project.
The company, through two subsidiaries, has held a 40.9% participating interest in the project, Petronas said in an announcement released by its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. It said its partners included Myanma Oil & Gas Enterprise, Myanmar’s state oil company, with a 20.5% share; Japan’s Nippon Oil Exploration (Myanmar) Ltd. with 19.3%; and Thailand’s PTTEP International Ltd. with 19.3%.
Petronas is the latest in a series of oil companies to withdraw from operations in Myanmar this year. The others include Australia’s Woodside Petroleum, France’s TotalEnergies and the U.S. company Chevron Corp. Those companies said they were withdrawing because of concerns over the human rights record of Myanmar’s military regime, which seized power in February last year after ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.
In addition to ethical concerns, economic sanctions imposed on Myanmar by the United States and other Western nations make it complicated to do business with Myanmar.
The statement from Petronas did not mention political or ethical concerns for the company’s action.
“The decision was made following a thorough techno-commercial review in alignment with Petronas' asset rationalization strategy for a portfolio that fits with its growth ambitions amid the changing industry environment and accelerated energy transition,” it said.
The brief statement also did not say who would take over the company’s share of the project.
Gas from the project goes by pipeline to Thailand, as does gas from another Myanmar field, Yadana.