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Reuters:Unocal Has No Immediate Pla

Subject: Reuters:Unocal Has No Immediate Plans To Move From U.S.

Unocal Has No Immediate Plans To Move From U.S.

                                   Reuter, Monday April 28 8:06 PM EDT

By David Brinkerhoff

LOS ANGELES, April 28 (Reuter) - Unocal Corp, facing increasing political 
pressure over its controversial investment in Burma, said Monday it has 
no plans to move its headquarters out of the U.S.

The El Segundo, Calif.-based energy company has come under fire from 
human rights groups who claim Unocal should divest its $340 million stake 
in a Burmese gas field because the country's military government abuses 
human rights.

Other large companies, including Pepsico Inc, have withdraw from Burma 
under pressure from the U.S. goverment and shareholders.

Earlier this year Unocal sold its U.S. refining and marketing operations 
to Tosco Corp for $2 billion in order to focus its resources on 
international exploration and production.

The sale has fueled speculation Unocal might leave the United States in 
order to bypass U.S. sanctions.

According to a report in the May 5 edition of BusinessWeek, Unocal has 
restructured its operations to leave the U.S. if the company finds it 

However, Unocal spokesman Barry Lane said the company has no plans to 
move out of the United States.

"We're not just a regional company anymore but international," Lane said. 
"That's not to be construed that we're no longer a legal entity here."

Last week, President Clinton approved economic sanctions against Burma 
due to human rights abuses by the Burmese military government. The 
sanctions ban new U.S. investment in Burma.

The United States and many other Western countries have criticized Burma 
for human rights abuses and for failing to recognize the democratically 
elected government of the opposition National League for Democracy, which 
was co-founded by Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Unocal Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Roger Beach said he was 
"terribly disappointed" by the president's decision to approve economic 
sanctions againt Burma.

Analysts say its typical for multinational companies like Unocal to 
separate their domestic and overseas operations, like Unocal did last 
year, for tax purposes.

"They're not packing up their bags as far as we can tell, that's not 
necessary," said Natwest Secututies Corp analyst Jennifer Weinstein.

Unocal has long claimed the best way to promote democracy in Burma is to 
allow foreign investors to help build infrastructure and not target them 
for sanctions.

But Weinstein says Unocal may not even be considering leaving the U.S. 
since previous sanctions against rogue states have grandfathered, or let 
continue, established projects by U.S. companies.

"(Unocal) hopes it will be grandfathered out," Weinstein said, adding 
Unocal also has valuable U.S. Gulf production that would be costly to 
give up.

The Free Burma Coaliton, a group which has attacked Burma's government -- 
the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) -- has said Unocal's 
investments support a government uses murder and rape to coerce citizens 
into working on Unocal's project.

"If your investing in Burma...it means your helping keep SLORC in power, 
which means keeping the country repressed," said Pamela Wellner, a 
spokeswoman for the coalition.