By Kevin Foster
UN member states should impose sanctions against state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas (Moge) in reaction to last month’s military coup in Burma (Myanmar), said the UN’s top human rights investigator for the country.
Moge is now controlled by the military junta and represents the single-largest source of revenue for the state, UN special rapporteur Thomas Andrews said in a report to the UN General Assembly.
Sanctions against Moge could have the most significant impact on the Myanmar energy sector since the military seized power on 1 February, and potentially affect all of the country’s main energy projects. Moge owns minority stakes in Myanmar’s four big offshore natural gas fields — Yetagun, Yadana, Zawtika and Shwe — which are operated by Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas, Total, Thailand’s state-controlled PTTEP and South Korea’s Posco respectively.
Yetagun, Yadana and Zawtika export gas by pipeline to Thailand. The Shwe project supplies China through the Burma Road oil and gas pipeline network, in which Moge owns 49pc and China’s state-owned CNPC holds the remainder. The pipelines also take around 200,000 b/d of Mideast Gulf crude to southwest China.
Security forces are imposing an increasingly bloody crackdown on protests against last month’s coup, leaving over 50 people dead in the past week. The protests and a widespread civil disobedience campaign have disrupted the economy and led to a fall of up to 40pc in Myanmar’s gasoline and diesel imports.
Targeted economic sanctions should also be imposed on the military and their sources of funding, Andrews said. The UN Security Council is due to discuss the situation in Myanmar today.