Petronas urged to exit Myanmar

OPPOSITION lawmakers have urged Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) to withdraw its investments from Myanmar amid the ongoing military exercise against the Rohingya Muslim minority.

Some 47 Opposition MPs have inked a petition to request the national energy giant to pull back all its investments from Myanmar.

Speaking on behalf of the lawmakers, Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli said a letter has been sent to Petronas CEO Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, requesting for an urgent meeting between the firm and the involved parliamentarians.

“We want to meet the CEO and discuss with the top management our concern,” he told reporters at the Parliament yesterday.

Rafizi said Petronas should adhere to the federal government’s stance against Myanmar on the Rohingya issue.

“We urge that Petronas should not invest in Myanmar until the Junta government recognise the Rohingya people as their citizens.”

Rafizi said Petronas currently has one hydrocarbon project in Myanmar known as the Yetagun Gas Field, a project that was initiated in 2002.

“The project was initially an effort by two [foreign] companies, Texaco Inc and Premier Oil plc, which later withdrew from the project in 1997 and 2002 respectively,” he said, adding that Petronas only stepped into the project after the two companies’ exit.

While the profitability of the Myanmar operations is not disclosed, Rafizi said Petronas should reassess the relevance of the project. He said Petronas’ tenure in the Yetagun project has only 12 years left, with news reports suggesting a stark decrease in gas production from 450 million cu ft per day (mmcfd) to 360 mmcfd.

The Yetagun gas field is a US$700 million (RM2.96 billion) offshore gas field project in the Andaman Sea, the second natural gas offshore project in Myanmar.