Petronas workers stranded offshore after Myanmar coup

Malaysian national oil company (NOC) Petronas said that it is making every effort to ensure the safety of about 155 workers that are sub-contracted on a barge servicing its Yetagun platform in the Andaman Sea off Myanmar following the military coup.

The workers were left stranded in the Andaman Sea since the Myanmar military staged a coup.

Mingguan Malaysia reported that workers on the Yetagun oil rig have lost contact with ground control and the Malaysian embassy since Monday.

One worker, who has been on the platform for four months, expressed concern over their declining food and gas supplies, which are only expected to last them until Feb 10 or 11.

According to the staff member, all workers were hired by a contractor working for Petronas and have had to stay out at sea longer than the usual 40-day period since the Covid-19 pandemic.

While some of them have successfully been sent ashore, many were still waiting for a helicopter to pick them up.

“There are no helicopters now; we believe they are under the control of the Myanmar junta. We have no idea what’s happening over there,” said the worker.

Given the current health crisis, the coup and several visa issues, the worker called on the government or their employers to take action before the situation worsened.

On Monday, democratically elected members of the ruling National League for Democracy party were deposed by Myanmar’s military and state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested.

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