Japan's Eneos plans to withdraw from Myanmar's Yetagun gas project

The logo of Eneos Holdings and Eneos Corporation is displayed at the company headquarters in Tokyo, Japan August 20, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO, March 25 (Reuters) - Japanese energy company Eneos Holdings (5020.T) aims to withdraw from Myanmar's Yetagun gas project in response to "social issues", a spokesperson said on Friday, amid criticism that the project is funding the southeast Asian nation's military junta.

The move comes after Malaysia's state-run Petronas and Japan's Mitsubishi Corp said last month they were divesting from the project, in the latest exits by major energy companies since last year's military coup. read more

"We are examining and discussing with our business partners about all possible measures toward closing the business based on the situation to address social issues and business potential," the Eneos spokesperson told Reuters.

Earlier on Friday, the Nikkei business daily said Eneos would exit amid criticism that the project funded the ruling junta.

Petronas' subsidiary, PC Myanmar (Hong Kong) Ltd, holds a stake of 40.9% in Yetagun, while Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise owns 20.5%.

A Japanese consortium, led by the government and Eneos unit JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration, has a stake of 19.3% with the rest owned by PTTEP International Ltd (PTTEP.BK).

In January, TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA) and Chevron Corp (CVX.N), partners in a major gas project in Myanmar, said they were withdrawing from the country, citing its worsening humanitarian situation after the coup. read more

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi and Sakura Murakami; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Clarence Frenandez

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