Halliburton has participated in a number of energy development projects in Burma, including the notorious Yadana and Yetagun pipelines. Prior to the Yadana pipeline's construction, the Burmese military forcibly relocated towns along the onshore route. According to the U.S. Department of Labor and the Multinational Monitor, "credible evidence exists that several villages along the route were forcibly relocated or depopulated in the months before the production-sharing agreement was signed." ###
According to EarthRights International (ERI) -- the Yadana and Yetagun pipeline consortia - Unocal, Total and Premier - knew of (especially from their own consultants) and benefited from the crimes committed by the Burmese military on behalf of the projects. An ERI investigation concluded that construction and operation of the pipelines has involved the use of forced labor, forced relocation and even murder, torture and rape. In addition, as the largest foreign investment projects in Burma, the pipelines will provide revenue to prop up the regime, perhaps for decades to come.
Shortly before the election in 2000, Dick Cheney admitted on the Larry King Live! show that Halliburton had done contract work in Burma. Cheney defended the project by saying that Halliburton had not broken the U.S. law imposing sanctions on Burma, which forbids new investments in the country. "You have to operate in some very difficult places and oftentimes in countries that are governed in a manner that's not consistent with our principles here in the United States," Cheney told Larry King. "But the world's not made up only of democracies."
Halliburton's engagement in Burma began as early as 1990, two years after the military regime took power by voiding the election of the National League for Democracy, the party of Aung San Suu Kyi. In the early 1990's, Halliburton Energy Services joined with Alfred McAlpine (UK) to provide pre-commissioning services to the Yadana pipeline.
In 1997, after Dick Cheney joined Halliburton, the Yadana field developers hired European Marine Services (EMC) to lay the 365-kilometer offshore portion of the Yadana gas pipeline. EMC is a 50-50 joint venture between Halliburton and Saipem of Italy and it operates an extensive fleet of pipelay installation vessels.
This was not the last time that a Halliburton company did business with Burma. In 1998, a subsidiary of Dresser Industries called Bredero-Price (now Bredero Shaw) manufactured the coating for the Yetagun pipeline, the onshore portion of which runs parallel to the Yadana pipeline. Dresser was purchased by Halliburton that same year. Bredero Shaw offers a range of pipe coating systems for protecting pipelines above ground, below ground and offshore. It is the world's largest international applicator of pipeline coatings for the oil and gas industry.
Multinational Monitor: "Cheney and Halliburton: Go Where the Oil Is"
EarthRights International Report on Yedana Pipeline
EarthRights International Website
Public Citizen: Vice President Cheney's Hand in the Burma Case