The breaking news this week is that on Monday the European Union announced a new round of sanctions on the Myanmar military. Most notable is that Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) has been sanctioned for the first time. During the previous military dictatorship, no foreign government ever took action to end the flow of money to the Myanmar military from the oil and gas sector.
This is due in large part to your pressure on TotalEnergies and Chevron. Your public pressure on these oil companies helped neutralize their long-time lobbying against sanctions on the Myanmar military’s oil money and contributed to their announced withdrawal from Burma.
This week, we must press the Biden Administration for similar U.S. sanctions on MOGE. In addition, we must continue to put our own direct pressure on the oil companies that support the Myanmar military.
It is long past time for President Biden to impose sanctions on MOGE. On April 27th, 2021, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, led by Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida) called on the Biden Administration to stop the flow of oil and gas money to the Myanmar military.
PTT is the largest Thai corporate investor in Burma (Myanmar) and a partner of Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) in the Yadana gas field and pipeline. Yadana is one of the military’s largest sources of revenue, bankrolling up to 70 percent of its operations in years past. With the decision by TotalEnergies and Chevron to exit Myanmar and the Yadana project, PTT may well become the majority owner and operator.
In the past year, dozens of people have been killed by airstrikes. Most of these airstrikes, using jets and helicopters, are happening in ethnic states, and local communities are calling for international action. But military jets require fuel. If the jets can’t fly, they can’t bomb.
PetroChina International Singapore Pte Ltd shipped 13,300 tonnes of jet fuel into Myanmar in April 2021, according to government import data reviewed by Reuters. PetroChina is a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).
Burmese civil society organizations have called for an embargo of jet fuel sales to Myanmar. “We’re appalled that PetroChina is exporting jet fuel to Myanmar, doing business with the war criminals who are conducting indiscriminate airstrikes against ethnic communities,” stated Justice for Myanmar spokeswoman Yadanar Maung to Reuters.
For More Information
“Burma Campaign UK Welcomes New EU Sanctions – MOGE Included,” Burma Campaign UK, 21 February 2022
“Amid military atrocities, Myanmar public urges gas sanctions,” by Kristen Gelineau, Victoria Milko, and Lori Hinnant, Associated Press, 15 December 2021
“Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production Taking Over Myanmar Gas Field as Others Exit,” Reuters, 26 January 2022
“How Oil and Gas Majors Bankroll the Myanmar Military Regime,” Justice For Myanmar, 8 February 2021
“Sanction Aviation Fuel to Alleviate Humanitarian Crisis in Burma,” Burma Campaign UK, 8 February 2022
“EXCLUSIVE PetroChina ships jet fuel to junta-ruled Myanmar, data shows,” Reuters, 20 May 2021
“Myanmar Regime’s Reliance on Air Power a Sign of Weakness: US Security Expert,” The Irrawaddy, 20 January 2022