Advocacy group eyes Myanmar's transparency

June 18, 2012 at 8:46 AM
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WASHINGTON, June 18 (UPI) -- EarthRights International said it was pressing for stronger disclosure rules for international oil and natural gas companies working in Myanmar.

Christophe de Margerie, chairman and chief executive officer at Total, met opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and government officials during a visit to Myanmar early this month. His company operates the Yadana natural gas field in the country.

Suu Kyi, in an address to the International Labor Organization, said state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise lacks "both transparency and accountability." MOGE oversees foreign participation in the country's oil and natural gas sector.

EarthRights International said it joined a consortium of groups in calling for disclosure of the payments made by oil and natural gas companies, including Total, to the government in Myanmar.

The organization said companies have refused to disclose that information because of contractual issues. ERI said, however, that its review of the contracts uncovered "no such specific prohibition."

It stated that Total disclosed in 2008 that it contributed more than $254 million to the government in Myanmar from its Yadana project.

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