Revealed: how world’s biggest fossil fuel firms ‘profited in Myanmar after coup’

Two years after a military junta illegally seized power in Myanmar in February 2021, we revealed details from a huge leak of the country’s tax records.

Our investigation centred on Western fossil fuel contractors who have continued to profit from providing essential drilling and other services to Myanmar’s gas field operators since the coup.

The services these companies provide help the junta earn billions of dollars from the gas fields in royalties, dividends and corporation tax.

One of the contractors named in our article is Halliburton of Iraq War infamy. The company did respond to our questions.

In collaboration with Justice For Myanmar and The Guardian, we analysed thousands of tax records obtained by the Distributed Denial of Secrets and also other reports.

Our findings suggest some contractors profited after the coup despite US state department guidance in January last year warning such work benefits the junta.

One month later, the EU went further and placed sanctions on Myanmar's state owned fossil fuel entity, Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise.

The UN says the junta is “committing war crimes & crimes against humanity daily”.

There is no suggestion that any of the Western companies cited in our report, including Halliburton, have breached sanctions.

Some 2,964 people, including children, activists & other civilians have been killed since the coup, says Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Thanks go to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists for making the leaks searchable.

Read our story with The Guardian here.