Unocal statement in response to press release from law offices of Cristobal Bonifaz
El Segundo, Calif., September 3, 1996 -- The claims made in the Cristobal Bonifaz law firm press release concerning human rights abuses on the Yadana natural gas project in Myanmar (Burma) in which Unocal holds a financial interest are false, irresponsible and frivolous. We believe that this lawsuit is motivated solely by political considerations.
The people of Myanmar will receive the main benefits from the Yadana natural gas project. In particular, the people along the pipeline route benefit from new jobs and the US$2 million in socio-economic programs sponsored by the project. Schools and hospitals have been built and many agricultural and animal husbandry projects are bringing new economic vitality to the region.
The US$1.2 billion natural gas project has caused none of the false and outrageous allegations in the press release: all people who work on the pipeline project are paid a better-than-average wage, people have been more-than-fairly compensated for any land use, and villages are in the same place they always have been. The economic benefits are already beginning to cascade in the region and pipeline construction has not yet begun.
We are proud of the Yadana project because it improves the lives of others. It is an outstanding model of responsible economic development.
NOTE: It is extremely difficult for Unocal to respond more specifically to any of the claims and allegations until we have had an opportunity to obtain and review a copy of the lawsuit.
Updated: September 1996