Australian energy firm exits Myanmar

Insight Online News

Canberra, Jan 27 : Australian energy firm Woodside on Thursday announced its decision to withdraw from Myanmar due to human rights violations under the junta rule. The petroleum giant cited “the deteriorating human rights situation” as reason for its decision. Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said, “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.

“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,” she added. Woodside’s exit follows energy majors TotalEnergies and Chevron announcing their departures last week. On January 26, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said, “Businesses and individuals with potential exposure to, or involvement in, operations or supply chains tied to the military regime that do not conduct appropriate due diligence run the risk of engaging in conduct that may expose them to significant reputational, financial, and legal risks, including violations of US anti-money laundering laws and sanctions, as well as abetting human rights abuses.”

He, however, said that the US does not want to curtail legitimate business and responsible investment in Myanmar. “The military regime has undermined the rule of law, facilitated widespread corruption, and committed serious human rights abuses, which exacerbate risks to foreign businesses operating in Burma or providing financial services to Burmese businesses,” he added. On February 1, the Myanmar military staged a coup and since then more than 1,000 civilians have been killed, which led to armed rebellions.


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