Saturday, June 9, 2012

Total CEO Meets With Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar

Stream of visitors ... Bob Carr and Aung San Suu Kyi leave their meeting on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters
Published June 09, 2012

Dow Jones Newswires

French oil major Total SA's (TOT) Chairman and Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie Saturday met in Myanmar with the political dissident Aung San Suu Kyi, he said in a tweet.

"I am pleased to see Aung San Suu Kyi free again!" Mr. de Margerie said in his tweet. "I'm delighted our discussions will continue," he added.

One person who attended the meeting told Dow Jones Newswires that Ms. Suu Kyi had requested Total to help companies which seek to come back and do business in Myanmar once the sanctions against the military junta there have been lifted.

"She asked Mr. de Margerie that Total helps them develop good practices," the person said over the phone from Myanmar, under conditions of anonymity. Ms. Suu Kyi told Mr. de Margerie she hoped to be able to keep up her work in favor of democracy in Myanmar, the person said.

Ms. Suu Kyi last week said that while she is cautiously optimistic about progress, further reforms will require the continued backing of Myanmar's still-powerful military--whose support isn't certain--and that investors should remain cautious.

Mr. de Margerie was "extremely moved to meet her again and both have planned to meet again when she travels to Paris at the end of this month," the person also said.

The head of the French company also met with Myanmar's president, Thein Sein, as well as the industry minister to discuss the group's activities there, the person added.

Total produces around 15,000 barrels per day of oil equivalent from the Yadana natural gas field there. Total owns 31.2% in the field. Mr. de Margerie had been traveling to Kuala Lumpur Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to attend the World Gas Conference and said in an interview with Dow Jones Thursday that he had many meetings planned later in Myanmar.

Speaking about his trip, he had said then that he had no plans to discuss potential additional gas extraction projects in Myanmar, but also said the group, which has had gas production business there since 1992, would be happy to get more projects.

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