ExxonMobil stakeholder plan provides avenue for feedback from Guyanese

ExxonMobil media briefing held in December 2017 following the public disclosure of the Production Sharing Agreement between the company and Guyana.

As part of the preparations for the Liza Phase 1 Development offshore Guyana, US oil major ExxonMobil, through its local affiliate, has developed a detailed Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP) that outlines how the company will interact with groups connected to its operations in the South American country.

Such a plan could be particularly effective for the country of around 750,000 people now entering for the first time, the league of oil-producing nations.

The SEP is designed for an ongoing exchange of information that allows the company to identify, understand and address community and stakeholders’ priorities and concerns, and improve decision-making and transparency.

A number of questions and concerns have been raised by various groups in Guyana regarding the operations of the company, its impact on the country and environment, and potential benefits or pitfalls its activities are likely to bring.

ExxonMobil says the main objectives of the SEP is to promote the development of respectful and open relationships between stakeholders and the company and understand their interests, concerns and influence in relation to ongoing activities. The plan also promises to provide stakeholders with timely information about the company’s activities and support alignment with the Government of Guyana requirements and corporate standards and guidelines for stakeholder engagement.

Stakeholder engagements have to date included meetings with individual stakeholders, public forums and training for local agencies and officials in the form of workshops on topics such as oil spill response.

A new round of consultations with the Guyanese public will also get underway on July 9 focusing on the draft Environmental Impact Assessment for the Liza Phase 2 Development set to begin by 2022, just one year after first oil, targeted for March 2020.