PTT Halts Bright Energy Joint Venture Project in Myanmar

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The Myanmar branch of Thai energy behemoth PTT has announced that it would cease oil transportation and storage activities. A week after one of the greatest sovereign wealth funds in the world pulled out as an investor, the decision was publicized.

In 2019, PTT Oil and Retail Business (PTTOR) and a division of Myanmar’s Kanbawza Group created the joint venture Bright Energy. PTTOR owns 35% of the company. The oil storage station that Bright Energy has been building close to Yangon is set to be the largest in all of Myanmar.

Last Monday, PTTOR issued a statement in which it “expressly proclaimed our determination to cease BE’s activities, construction, and payments.”

The decision follows the December 15 announcement by Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global that it will be divesting from PTTOR and its parent company, PTT. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the Norway Fund, ranks among the largest in the world.

PTT has already scaled back some of its natural gas operations in Myanmar; whether or not this trend will continue remains to be seen. PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) is part of a larger corporation that manages and exports gas from numerous fields in Myanmar.

A significant portion of Thailand’s natural gas comes from Myanmar.

To ensure “long-term energy security,” PTTEP stated in March that it would acquire a share in the Yadana gas field in Myanmar following the withdrawal of TotalEnergies, a French company.

But in April, PTTEP announced that it will no longer participate in the Yetagun gas project in Myanmar.

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