We engage with stakeholders early in the planning process to listen, learn and understand their values, needs and interests. We have professionals in each area of operations who manage stakeholder engagement and integrate local input into our business decisions. These specialists help project teams understand the potential impact on the community and environment. This often results in changes at the project planning phase or during operations to mitigate stakeholder concerns. We actively solicit community feedback and collaborate with stakeholders at the local, state, provincial or federal levels to implement our commitments to community engagement throughout the life cycle of our projects.
As Alaska’s largest oil producer, we respect the rich culture of Alaska Native people and work diligently to build inclusive, honest and respectful relationships with our stakeholders, particularly with our neighbors who live nearest our operations. We support community projects and provide economic opportunities, while minimizing impacts from operations on local residents and the environment. We meet frequently with North Slope community leaders and residents to get feedback and gather local and traditional knowledge to help protect their subsistence resources and to share information about current and planned operations.
Stakeholders in the communities near our operations have a unique relationship with the land and wildlife so efforts to mitigate community concerns have included changing the placement of an exploration project and a bridge near the village of Nuiqsut on Alaska’s North Slope. We also have robust environmental study programs at existing operations that include air quality monitoring stations; caribou, bird and fish surveys; hydrology studies; lake water quality and recharge monitoring; subsistence hunting studies; and tundra rehabilitation. Extensive environmental baseline studies are conducted in all potential areas of new operations. New projects are subject to rigorous permitting and public review processes.
We strive to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work. Employees contribute more than 3,500 hours each year serving nonprofit organizations and represent the industry on many multi-stakeholder boards. Since 2014, the company has given almost $32 million to hundreds of Alaska-based nonprofits across the state, funding programs that support education, social services, the arts, civic and youth groups, and the environment.
U.S. Lower 48
Stakeholder engagement has been part of our history since the beginning of the 20th century when Phillips Petroleum Co. drilled hundreds of wells on Osage tribal lands, building the company’s foundation and providing community benefit through royalty income. We work closely with stakeholders to promote understanding of our operations, minimize disruptions and engage and contribute in a positive way to the communities where we operate. By taking a personal approach with communities, we are able to build strong relationships and an environment of transparency, courtesy and trust.
Our Eagle Ford Landing newsletter provides information to neighbors about the work we are doing in their communities. The Eagle Ford Citizens Advisory Committee is comprised of community leaders from DeWitt, Karnes, Live Oak and Bee counties and meets quarterly to discuss industry-related issues. Additionally, we conduct polls to determine what topics are important to community members. We also invite local elected officials to participate in our Leadership Roundtable meetings to discuss our operation plans and listen to concerns and suggestions. We have implemented a multiyear road safety program with our “Slow Down Don’t Trash Our Town” campaign which has provided training to over 900 employees, contractors and community members to change negative behavior around speeding and littering. In addition, all company vehicles are equipped with driving monitor devices that record and report driving speed. Eagle Ford employees have contributed more than 6,800 hours serving nonprofit organizations since 2015 and we have contributed more than $2 million to fund programs that support education, social services, the arts and the environment.
Community bus tours in the Niobrara allow residents to experience our operations and talk directly with subject matter experts. We conduct town halls and participate in public meetings to ensure residents and officials have the information they require to make informed decisions about our operations. We have also worked with local stakeholders and a real-estate developer to execute an innovative agreement that integrates the placement of our assets into broader community planning. Our donation to the Colorado School of Mines also established the ConocoPhillips Center for a Sustainable WE²ST (Water-Energy Education, Science and Technology).
We have been an active member in the Permian Road Safety Coalition (PRSC) since 2015. The goal of the coalition is to lead a collaborative cross-industry effort with oil and gas operators, service and transportation companies, nongovernmental organizations and governments to improve road safety and reduce the number of traffic-related injuries and deaths in the Permian Basin. We have been part of the Coalition for Safer Alberta Roads near our oil sands operations in Canada for several years. In 2018, we brought the executive director of that coalition to meet with the PRSC to share information and expertise regarding their successful initiatives to reduce incidents and fatalities. We also recently joined the Permian Strategic Partnership, a coalition of energy companies and regional leaders who are working to make roads safer, improve schools and healthcare, increase affordable housing, and train workers. As part of our ongoing community giving, our sponsorship of the Bad Boy Blast sporting clays tournament has raised almost $3 million since 2004 for local fire departments and crime stopper organizations in Texas and our golf tournament and silent auction has raised $1.24 million since 2014 for the Make a Wish foundation in New Mexico.
We established a Leadership Roundtable in the Bakken to discuss our development plans with local government and civic leaders and to collaborate on key issues. With our operations close to the Little Missouri State Park, our employees volunteer each spring to prepare the campground facilities and riding trails for tourist season. In 2018, 34 employees contributed 170 hours of time to the effort. View more about our stakeholder commitment in the Bakken.
We strive to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work. Employees contribute their time across our Lower 48 operations, serving nonprofit organizations and representing the industry on many multi-stakeholder boards. Since 2014, the company has given more than $212.5 million to hundreds of locally based nonprofits across states where we operate, funding programs that support education, social services, the arts, civic and youth groups, and the environment.
In the oil sands, we have over two decades of experience working with area Indigenous-owned businesses to develop local content. The region near our Surmont project is home to five First Nations communities and six Metis Locals. In Canada, Aboriginal Peoples (who consist of First Nations, Metis and Inuit) have constitutionally protected rights to their traditional territories and ways of life. The construction of the Surmont 2 oil sands facility provided ConocoPhillips Canada with the opportunity to contribute to mutually beneficial relationships through local contracting opportunities. During the Surmont 2 construction phase, we supported Aboriginal communities with over 300 contracts and subcontracts with Aboriginal businesses, totaling about $500 million. Ninety-seven Aboriginal businesses contributed to the Surmont project through services ranging from construction to drilling, completions, seismic and operations. Over 70% of those businesses continue to operate today, including approximately 30 still active at Surmont in some capacity.
In Northeast British Colombia, we have been working with local communities as we develop plans for our Montney drilling projects. From that collaboration we have negotiated and are now implementing a “life of project” agreement with one First Nation, which has created a collaborative process around community engagement and contracting. As a result of our engagement, we have created an innovative water management plan for the development that mitigates concerns about water use as well as truck traffic and have steadily increased our local indigenous contracting spend. We also continue to partner on a variety of community initiatives that focus on the communities evolving interests.
We support education, natural resources, health and safety, arts, civic, social services and disaster relief programs vital to the health and well-being of the communities where we live and work. In 2018, 188 ConocoPhillips staff volunteered over 1,700 hours on a range of activities including serving lunches at the Calgary Drop-In Centre, making lunches for kids through Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids, cleaning up local playgrounds and helping children learn to read at Calgary’s Connaught School. Since 2014, the company has given more than $14 million to hundreds of nonprofit organizations across Canada.
We continue to foster relationships with the communities surrounding our operations through sustainable programs targeted at economic empowerment, education, infrastructure, and social services. We helped establish a Rubber Farmers Group in 2002 in collaboration with the local rubber research institution, Sembawa, to improve the quality and quantity of latex production as well as the marketing capabilities of farmers. Approximately 1200 acres of rubber plantation have been rejuvenated and are managed by 500 individual farmers from the villages near our operations in the Musi Banyuasin regency, South Sumatera province. Our business unit, through Sembawa, provides quality rubber seeds and fertilizers, as well as regular mentoring and supervision - from planting trees to latex production. The group has given farmers direct access to local rubber factories and a stronger bargaining position that has resulted in higher income.
We also instituted a scholarship program in 2002 that provides financial assistance to local university students and elementary and high school teachers to obtain undergraduate degrees. More than 5,000 students from villages near our operations in the Musi Banyuasin regency have received support. The program has also helped recipients develop their social and entrepreneurial skills, which they can then apply to helping other members of their communities.
Working with agencies of the Colombian national government, we engaged with stakeholders, including local communities, nearly 200 times from 2016 through 2018, listening to concerns and addressing questions about our project plans in the Middle Magdalena River Valley. These efforts were successful in securing the support of local leaders and the vast majority of community members, many of whom had questions and concerns at the beginning of the project. The meetings focused on the legal, technical, social and environmental aspects of our plans, including discussions of our conventional environmental license to conduct the production test, the environmental impact assessment for exploration of unconventional resources that we are preparing to submit to the National Authority of Environmental Licenses, and the community benefit plan. Read more about our operations on the ConocoPhillips Colombia website.
When constructing our Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) facility, we opted to fund and support the construction of pipelines to connect infrastructure on Curtis Island with mainland utilities instead of building a desalination plant for seawater. This effort significantly reduced harbor traffic associated with water supply to the LNG projects and eliminated the release of an average of 5 million barrels per year of brine and treated effluent to Gladstone Harbor since operations began in 2015. The project also addressed stakeholder concerns about impacts of increased vessel traffic to both local recreation and the natural environment. Read more about APLNG.
In Timor Leste, we support local training courses in areas such as electrical and instrumentation maintenance and offer programs that allow residents to earn certificates in instrumentation and control. Additionally, there are opportunities for training to be a helicopter mechanic or pilot serving offshore operations. These all position local graduates for high-paying jobs in our industry. As part of our Bayu-Undan Joint Venture, a scholarship program also provides economically disadvantaged Timorese students with a fully funded scholarship at an academically prestigious school for grades seven through 12.