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The Yadana Pipeline

Map of the pipeline region

Yadana Gas Project in Myanmar (Burma), which began in partnership with the former military government, has been one of the world’s most controversial natural gas development projects. Transporting gas through a pipeline from Burma’s Andaman Sea to Thailand, the project is operated by Total (France), Chevron (US), PTTEP (Thailand), and the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE). Since the project’s beginnings in the early 1990s, it has been marred by serious and widespread human rights abuses committed by pipeline security forces on behalf of the companies, including forced labor, land confiscation, forced relocation, rape, torture, murder. Many of these abuses continue today.
 
ERI has been conducting continuous fact-finding in the Yadana Area since 1994, producing reports, conducting advocacy and bringing groundbreaking lawsuits against the companies involved in this natural resource development project. ERI aims to support victims of abuses to seek justice for harms they have suffered and improve local and natural impacts of this project.
 
On this page you will find links to all of ERI’s reports related to past and present earth rights abuses along the Yadana Pipeline; links to information about the Doe v. Unocal lawsuit against Unocal for serious abuses along the pipeline; ERI reports on forced labor and foreign investment in Burma; ERI communications with Unocal, Chevron, and Total; Statements by Unocal, Chevron, and Total; ERI statements concerning foreign investment and human rights in Burma; ERI submissions to international organizations; ERI submissions to national bodies; and third-party communications with Chevron, Unocal, and Total.

ERI Reports on the Pipeline:

    ERI Reports on Forced Labor and Foreign Investment in Burma:

    Yadana Pipeline Oil Contracts:

    The following contracts entered the public record through the partial trial of ERI's groundbreaking lawsuit Doe v. Unocal and were released publicly by ERI in May 2010. The contracts released are the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) governing the Project, which was Unocal's Exhibit 1001 at trial; the Production Sharing Contract (PSC), Exhibit 1002; the Export Gas Sales Agreement (EGSA), Exhibit 1010; and the Export Gas Transportation Agreement (EGTA), Exhibit 1013.  The MOU and the PSC are the basic governing contracts for the project, which was originally known as the Moattama Gas Project.  The EGSA is an agreement governing sales of Yadana gas to PTT, the Thai company that buys the gas at the Thai-Burma border, and the EGTA is an agreement governing the pipeline itself and an entity called the Moattama Gas Transportation Company (MGTC), which the partners own.  The MOU and PSC predated Unocal's participation in the Yadana Project, but Unocal signed onto these contracts when it became a partner.  ERI believes that these contracts still apply to the project, and that Chevron has simply been substituted for Unocal.

    Communications with Chevron/Unocal:

    • In a September 27, 2007, letter to Chevron CEO Dave O'Reilly, ERI Executive Director Ka Hsaw Wa called on Chevron to use its influence "to help prevent mass bloodshed" as the Burmese military began attacking monks and other peaceful protestors.
    • On July 22, 2005, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka wrote to Chevron CEO Dave O'Reilly noting that acquiring Unocal's stake in the Yadana Project would expose Chevron to significant reputational and legal risks due to the associated human rights abuses. 
    • On August 9, 2005, Trumka followed up with a letter to Chevron's Public Policy Committee Chair Sam Nunn, again expressing concern that "the Yadana pipeline is an unacceptable legal and political risk."

    Statements by Unocal/Chevron:

    • While Unocal maintained a substantial website on its operations in Burma (Myanmar), Chevron's website includes virtually no mentions of Burma or the Yadana Project.  Unocal's old website is archived here.
    • Chevron's statements during the September and October, 2007 brutal crackdown against peaceful demonstrators in Burma -- here and here.

    ERI Statements Concerning Foreign Investment and Human Rights in Burma:

    Submissions to International Organizations:

      Submissions to National Bodies:

      Third-Party Communications with Chevron, Unocal, and Total - Letters and Statements:

      • TOTAL Annual General Meeting Disrupted by Burmese Activists (May 16, 2008)
      • Time for US’s Chevron to Leave Burma (Shwe Gas Bulletin, Volume 3, Issue 3; March 2008). In this editorial, Arakan Oil Watch, part of the Shwe Gas Movement, calls on Chevron to leave Burma, citing Chevron’s continued support of the military regime through the Yadana project.
      • USW Oil Workers Call on Chevron, Total to Withdraw their Investment in Burma (November 9, 2007). The United Steelworkers issued a statement in late 2007 calling on Chevron and Total to withdraw from the Yadana project, citing concerns over the continued use of forced labor.
      • Letter to Chevron from Social Investors (October 25, 2007). A letter written to Chevron management from several long time investors, requested a meeting regarding concerns over Chevron’s relationship with Burma’s military regime and its investment in the Yadana project.
      • Chevron’s Pipeline is the Burmese Regime’s Lifeline (Amy Goodman, October 8, 2007). Commentary on Chevron’s support of Burma’s military regime through the Yadana project, even in the midst of the 2007 uprisings and subsequent crackdown.
      • Free Burma Movement to Chevron Texaco:  Get out of Burma! (Burma Forum Los Angeles). US-based Burma activists call on Chevron to withdraw from Burma, citing human rights abuses associated with the Yadana project.

      Chevron Shareholder Meetings: