In late February, Lwin Oo* boarded a helicopter at Yangon International Airport with 12 of his co-workers bound for the Yadana gas field, located 60 kilometres off Myanmar’s southwestern coast. After an hour in the air, the offshore facility came into view, a bright yellow speck against the dark blue Andaman Sea.
The Yadana complex is made up of seven fixed platforms—steel structures that house personnel and drilling rigs—all connected by steel bridges. The helicopter descended slowly atop one of the platforms. The workers, dressed in bright orange overalls, disembarked onto the green helipad and headed to their living quarters before beginning their shifts at dawn the next day.
Normally, the only thing these workers would have to worry about as they begin their month-long stint at the facility is the tedium of their work—maintaining the mechanical equipment pumping gas from the seabed to clients of Total E&P Myanmar, a subsidiary of the French energy giant Total.
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