Perth: Major Australian energy company Woodside has decided to withdraw from its interests in Myanmar, citing the deteriorating human rights situation in the country.
This comes after Oil giants TotalEnergies and Chevron last week announced their withdrawal for the same reason. The situation in the Southeast Asian country has been worsening following the military coup in February 2021. Besides, the killing of thousands of people, scores of people across Myanmar has been displaced.
Woodside in a statement on Thursday said they have operated in Myanmar since 2013, conducting multiple exploration and drilling campaigns.
Woodside said it 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 commence arrangements to formally exit Blocks AD-1 and AD-8, the A-6 Joint Venture and the A-6 production sharing contract (PSC) held with the Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE)," the company said.
It said that 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 (NPAT) by approximately USD 138 million.
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 said.