Case Analysis: Unocal in Burma Union Oil Company of California, Unocal, progressed into a full-service oil business after being founded more than 100 years ago to develop oil fields in California. Its services included extraction, refining, distribution, marketing and retail. Because of the depletion of oil fields in the United States, Unocal turned to foreign investments with a strategy to market its one-stop shopping business to governments.
A major international project of interest was the "Yadana Field" off the shore of Burma, which contained approximately 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gasenough to produce gas continuously for about 30 years. Burma's government created the company Mynamar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) to find
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Unocal claimed that 7,751 paid jobs were given to Burmese workers during construction and it would continue to employ 587 to continue development. By 2004, the project was delivering hundreds of millions of cubic feet of gas every day to Thailand which greatly supported their rapidly growing economy. Other benefits included a reliable and efficient energy source and cleaner-burning natural gas to fuel Thailand's electrical plants. Unocal said that the project brought "real and immediate benefits to thousands of families" living in the pipeline region including greatly improved health care, education, transportation infrastructure, and small business opportunities. Infant mortality in the region dropped to 31 deaths/1000 by the year 2000, which was lower than the country's overall rate of 78) and again to deaths/1000 two years later (see Appendix A.) Collaborative for Development Action, Inc. (CDA) agreed with these claims and reported in 2004 that many are benefiting and the number benefited is increasing, though mainly the middle class has been the recipient; the middle class has grown to be relatively wealthy and programs for poorer were being put into place. Nevertheless, despite all the benefits the oil project provided, there were still important effects lacking and, more importantly, grossly immoral practices occurring in order to