Integrating Sustainable Development
ConocoPhillips has a time-honored tradition of placing safety, health and environmental stewardship at the top or our operating priorities. Our responsibilities include the manner in which we conduct our operations, our adherence to the highest legal and ethical standards, the practice of good corporate citizenship in the communities in which we operate, and the quality of our interactions with our stakeholders. We aim to partner with the communities in which we operate to ensure that our operations do not adversely impact community health and safety while enabling cultural and economic opportunities, aiding communities in meeting basic needs, and stimulating economic and social development. ConocoPhillips' operations, standards, engagement, and good corporate citizenship in Perú reflect the best practices of the company, and our activities in Perú are reviewed at every level and within key functions in the company. We have outlined some of our broader company practices and expectations below to provide context for this more detailed description of ConocoPhillips' activities in Perú.
ConocoPhillips' stakeholder engagement activities are an integral part of our sustainable development commitments. We have engagement strategies that vary according to the nature of the local community. In dispersed communities, we identify key stakeholders and engage with them face to face to ensure that our activities are understood and that we consider their feedback. In regions where there are opportunities to bring local stakeholders together, we work with multi-stakeholder groups in a similar way.
ConocoPhillips seeks first to understand local community social hierarchy, culture and traditions, as well as their priorities, expectations and preferences for dialogue. We engage with communities at the regional, local and individual level by meeting regularly with local leaders, community associations and regional governments to hear their views so we can respond to the issues and concerns they care about most. In Perú we have publicly pledged to obtain complete understanding of and agreement with our activities from all communities in our areas of operations prior to conducting exploration and production work.
ConocoPhillips believes business has a constructive role to play to advance respect for human rights throughout the world as do non-government organizations (NGOs) and other representative groups in civil society. As stated in our Human Rights Position, ConocoPhillips conducts its engagement with communities consistent with the philosophy expressed in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In addition, our Corporate Values, Ethics Policy (23Kb .PDF), Health, Safety and Environment Policy (34Kb .PDF) and Stakeholder Engagement Principles (17Kb .PDF) outline our expectations of our businesses in this area. We invite you to review additional detail on our approach to human rights and stakeholder engagement in this report.
Exploration Activities in Perú
ConocoPhillips first became active in Perú in 2006. We currently have interest in Blocks 123 and 129, which are located in the Tigre District (Loreto Region). Both blocks comprise approximately 1.9 million net acres. Our current area of influence is encompassed by 40 communities associated with Blocks 123 and 129. Two conservation areas overlap with these blocks: the Pucacuro National Reserve and the Alto Nanay-Pintuyacu-Chambira Regional Conservation Area. Although both were created after we acquired our licenses, we carefully consider conservation in planning our activities.
Our recent work in Perú includes:
- 2010-2011 acquisition and processing of 606 kilometers of 2D seismic data in Block 123. Ground gravity data along a 100 kilometer seismic traverse was gathered concurrently with the 2D seismic data.
- An infill 2D seismic Block 123 survey covering an additional 317 kilometers was initiated at year-end 2011. This activity was preceded by an extensive Environmental and Social Assessment across the area.
- In August 2011, in accordance with License Contract requirements, ConocoPhillips and its partners relinquished 14 percent of the original area of Block 123.
- 2010-2011 acquisition and processing of 304 kilometers of 2D seismic data in Block 129. An infill 2D seismic survey covering an additional 250 kilometers began in January 2012. This activity was preceded by an extensive Environmental and Social Assessment across the area.
If the seismic results in Blocks 123 and 129 confirm hydrocarbon potential, ConocoPhillips may conduct additional environmental and social assessment in preparation for possible, future exploration activities. For more information on our prior work in Blocks 39, 104 and 124, please click here.
Community Engagement and Investment
Our experience working in the region indicates that, as with many other areas in the Amazon, communities of the Maranon Basin face inherent challenges. The location of our area of influence is geographically remote. Communities near our exploration operations face difficulties in gaining access to employment, services, and often, basic necessities. The remoteness is compounded by a lack of basic local infrastructure such as medical services, educational services, utilities and transportation. In addition, many communities rely on local subsistence activities to sustain their livelihoods. As a result, the needs of communities are great.
We believe it is appropriate for companies operating in such sensitive and challenging contexts to act in a manner that respects the land and local ways of life, addresses concerns, and contributes to the well-being of communities. We are committed to providing:
- Free, prior and informed engagement and consultation with communities
- Financial assistance for social investment and environmental conservation projects that can make a sustained and positive impact and
- As many direct and indirect local employment opportunities as are appropriate for our exploration work.
ConocoPhillips is committed to dedicating resources for engagement and consultation. There are three full-time ConocoPhillips community relations staff members based in Perú who spend a majority of their time visiting with local communities. They have built strong relationships with communities, community leaders and authorities. Our frequency of community consultation activities is commensurate with our level of exploration activities and exceeds regulatory requirements. Additionally, a locally hired community relations representative accompanies our seismic data acquisition contractor for hiring and orientation during operations, and to provide an avenue for local employees to submit concerns or suggestions to ConocoPhillips for managing contractor relations.
ConocoPhillips wants to ensure that stakeholders have a chance to be heard and to be educated on our activities. We first ask permission of the communities to meet with them and then enter into a respectful dialogue with community members. We are aware of the importance of establishing the appropriate frequency and level of contact with each community and have found communities very receptive to our engagement. Between 2008 and 2011 we visited each of the more than 60 communities in the area of influence of our past and current projects in Blocks 123, 124 and 129. In total, over 780 community meetings have been held with attendance by all the community representatives and virtually all of the community members. (Note: There are 40 communities associated with the areas of our activities in Blocks 123 and 129.)
We have also hosted informative and interactive workshops on different subjects, including, for example:
Providing Project Updates
- Description of seismic and other potential future development activities and their impacts
- Regulations concerning the hydrocarbon sector and International Labour Organization (ILO) 169 and
- Roles and rights of the communities in environmental monitoring in accordance with our permits and regulatory commitments
Along with communities, other stakeholders in the blocks in which we operate include federations, regional and municipal government and NGOs. They all have been informed about the project activities and their concerns have been considered in project planning. ConocoPhillips, in compliance with Peruvian government expectations and regulations, enters into a written agreement called a "convenio" with communities in the project area of influence. The convenio documents the consent of the community and details the compensation agreed to for disruptions in land-use or activities caused by the seismic operations.
When needed, we cover the cost of transportation to support the communities in their review of our work. For example, we have facilitated visits to operational sites by the communities' Environmental Vigilance Committees, who then have the opportunity to provide recommendations on environmental, safety, labor and health matters. Recommendations are then incorporated into the operational activities and validated in a second visit by the committees.
Investing in People
We are committed to providing employment and other economic opportunities to the people who live in our areas of operation. Our 2008 field activities and seismic work in Block 104 provided employment for more than 190 members of local communities. Additionally, during the labor recruiting and orientation process, we worked with communities to address health issues, such as malnutrition and hygiene. The 2D seismic program executed during 2010-2011 in Blocks 123 and 129 provided employment for more than 670 members of local communities. Our current 2011-2012 infill 2D seismic program in Blocks 123 and 129 is expected to provide employment for more than 420 local community members. In total, our field activities and seismic work to date since 2008 have created more than 1,200 job opportunities for local communities.
Social investment is another way that we invest in communities, and our sustainable development social investment plan is fully integrated into our business planning and ESIA (Environmental and Social Impact Assessment) processes in Perú. Though social investment projects are typically required in the operational phase in Perú, we view developing these projects early in the exploration phase as part of developing a mutually beneficial relationship that will serve both ConocoPhillips and local communities well over the long term.
With support from ConocoPhillips, PRISMA, a Peruvian non-governmental organization (NGO) with 22 years of experience in maternal and child health projects, completed a health baseline study in eight communities located in the Tigre Basin in the vicinity of Blocks 123 and 129 (Intuto, 28 de Julio, Alfonso Ugarte, Santa Clara, Providencia, Santa Elena, Nueva Jerusalen and Belén). Results of the study revealed several healthcare needs in these communities.
The next phase of the project, started in 2011, focused on improving the health and nutrition of the population under the age of 5, and promoting healthy practices among their families to address root causes of various health conditions. To do this, anti-parasitic and anti-anemic treatments were given to children with positive diagnoses, and healthy practices were taught to their families through house calls and educational demonstration sessions. As a result, 458 children under the age of 3 received treatment against anemia and parasites. In addition, the project provided training for 16 health workers and 50 community health promoters of the Lower and Upper Tigre communities.
Another social investment pilot project completed in 2011 provided solar energy to improve the living conditions of remote rural communities of Loreto, many of which rely on generators and diesel fuel to generate power and electricity. The company funded a Solar Panel Pilot Project in the Alto Nanay River Basin. The project has been carried out by the Canadian NGO Light Up the World (LUTW), with the cooperation of the District Municipality of Alto Nanay, in the Province of Maynas, Department of Loreto.
The primary objectives of the project were to establish a reliable, renewable energy source and build the municipality’s organizational capacity to manage the project. The energy generated will serve to improve the quality of medical services and access to electricity in the health centers, schools and community centers. It is expected that the project will enhance the number of community gatherings in the community centers, promoting community cohesion in the communities of Alto Nanay—Santa María, San Antonio and Diamante Azul.
Six photovoltaic solar systems have been installed in the communities of Alto Nanay as part of the project, and training has been provided to seven technicians in the maintenance and management of photovoltaic systems. It is estimated that approximately 2,600 villagers will benefit from this project.
In addition, ConocoPhillips, along with the NGO Red Ambiental Loretana, is providing scholarships to six aboriginal students from COP area of influence for post-secondary education in Iquitos. COP is also partnering with the Municipality of Intuto (El Tigre District) and the NGO ODS (Sustainable Development Organization) to prepare a participatory waste management plan. This plan will include a waste baseline study and an action plan.
Although ConocoPhillips has relinquished exploration rights in Blocks 104 and 124, we have continued to support communities through ongoing sustainable development projects. We are pleased with the outcomes of these projects and the long history of our company in community investment.
Environmental Protection and Biodiversity
Our philosophy in operating in Perú is to limit road construction and to bring supplies and equipment in by boat or helicopter, utilizing minimal footprint technologies. If we proceed with future development and production, we will maintain a zero-discharge policy regarding produced water. The oil and gas industry has learned much since oil production began in tropical regions. ConocoPhillips continues to learn and work with communities in developing and utilizing environmentally sound practices and in implementing advanced technologies. We have addressed the observation comments from the review process for all of the ESIAs that we have executed in Perú. To date, all of our ESIAs conducted in Perú for seismic activity have been approved.
We have also been working with local organizations to support biodiversity conservation in the Pucacuro Reserve. In the Pucacuro Reserve proposal, the community requested support to protect local forest through the Consejo Comunal. We provided funding to support a collaborative effort with SERNANP (Servicio Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas por el Estado) and the local communities to help with protection of the Pucacuro Reserve. A monitoring and control station at the mouth of the Pucacuro River has been built, and forest guards have been trained to help the government maintain oversight in the area.
To support Perús work toward biodiversity management, ConocoPhillips requested that the original configuration of License Contract 123, as announced by PerúPetro, be changed so as to exclude parts of the Pucacuro Reserve. PerúPetro granted ConocoPhillips' request and reconfigured the License Contract Area.
Also, through the Regional Government of Loreto (GOREL) we have agreed to support community projects that will reduce social pressure on the environment by encouraging the development of sustainable tradecraft and forms of agriculture with local communities. To this end, we have signed a framework agreement for sustainable projects with GOREL to support such project development in the Alto Nanay-Pintuyacu-Chambira Regional Conservation Area. ConocoPhillips, several NGOs, the Institution for Investigations in the Amazonian Perú (IIAP) and GOREL agree that an important step to achieve biodiversity protection is through community involvement in sustainable development projects.
We partner on projects that can achieve biodiversity protection through community involvement in a sustainable project. As an example, one of ConocoPhillips' particular environmental interests is conserving the natural habitat of migratory birds, an objective that has been among the company's charitable priorities since the 1970s. Consequently, in 2005 ConocoPhillips founded the SPIRIT of Conservation Migratory Bird Program, an outgrowth of the company's long-working relationship with the U.S. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The program strives to protect, restore and improve the natural systems and habitats upon which migratory birds depend for survival, and to benefit declining bird species. Through our involvement with SPIRIT of Conservation, 1,400 acres were purchased at Abra Patricia in the Peruvian Department of Amazonas as a conservation site, and local people have been hired and trained as guides and guards. COP is currently partnering with the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and the non-profit organization, PRONATURALEZA, on a project to raise awareness of endangered bird species from the Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve in Loreto.
ConocoPhillips recognizes that water management is an important worldwide issue. Water is critical to the sustainability of our business, and we recognize the need to manage freshwater usage responsibly, with consideration for communities, consumers and the environment. Although water is a globally important issue, the impacts on freshwater supply and water quality can be very local in nature. Building local awareness, skills, and sustainable practices with local authorities and communities is crucial to our commitment to successful water management.
We are committed to the development of water management practices that conserve and protect freshwater resources and enhance the efficiency of water utilization at our facilities. Our Global Onshore Well Management Principles (3.4MB .PDF) illustrate this point. Also, as demonstrated during our initial seismic operations in the Nanay watershed, ConocoPhillips has made extensive efforts to prevent leaks and spills from our planned operations. These activities include prevention, detection and mitigation of any potential spills. As part of our normal planning, we evaluate scenarios and develop response plans in coordination with local authorities and communities.
While our operations in Perú are in early exploration stages, we seek to foster and support exemplary ethical behavior in all aspects of our business, as we do in other places around the world where we operate. We provide ethics training locally and in Spanish to all employees and direct contractors. Our employees in Perú have confirmed their understanding of and compliance with the ConocoPhillips Code of Business Ethics and Conduct. ConocoPhillips' employees worldwide reconfirm their understanding and compliance of these policies annually.
As we move through our exploration evaluation process, we will continue our practice of comprehensive stakeholder engagement through regular dialogue and support through community investment and local employment.