On October 31, 2023, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a new directive prohibiting U.S. persons from providing certain financial services to Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) and designated certain entities and individuals for connections to the Burma’s military regime.
Under Directive 1, issued pursuant to Executive Order 14014, OFAC determined that MOGE is a “political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the Government of Burma” and prohibited U.S. persons from “the provision, exportation, or re-exportation, directly or indirectly, of financial services to or for the benefit of MOGE or its property or interests in property.” In two Frequently Asked Questions related to Directive 1, OFAC also clarified that: (1) these prohibitions apply to any entity, such as a subsidiary or joint venture, that is 50% or more owned, directly or indirectly, by MOGE; and (2) the term “financial services” includes loans, transfers, accounts, insurance, investments, securities, guarantees, foreign exchange, letters of credit, and commodity futures or options.
OFAC noted that MOGE, a state-owned enterprise that has large offshore oil and gas operations with foreign entities, is “the largest single source of foreign revenue for Burma’s military regime” and that OFAC’s actions seek to “restrict the regime’s access to U.S. dollars” and limit its ability to “carry out violent attacks against its own citizens.” OFAC’s actions against MOGE build upon a February 21, 2022 designation by the European Union and OFAC’s previous designation actions against MOGE leadership. Directive 1 prohibitions will take effect on December 15, 2023.
As part of its October 31, 2023 actions, OFAC also designated three entities and five individuals connected to Burma’s military regime. For additional details regarding the designated entities and individuals, please see the official press release.