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Statoil in Nigeria. Transparency and local content

After working in the country since 1992, Statoil now has solid expectations for oil and gas production offshore Nigeria in a few years time. At the same time, onshore, parts of the oil producing Niger Delta are in turmoil, and Nigeria’s oil production currently is down by around 25 percent.
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Full report: Statoil in Nigeria, Transparency and local content Full report: Statoil in Nigeria, Transparency and local content 1.04 Mb
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After working in the country since 1992, Statoil now has solid expectations for oil and gas production offshore Nigeria in a few years time. At the same time, onshore, parts of the oil producing Niger Delta are in turmoil, and Nigeria’s oil production currently is down by around 25 percent.
Sammendrag på norsk her
pdf  Full report: Statoil in Nigeria, Transparency and local content 1.04 Mb
The Nigerian government, civilian since 1999, show high ambitions for increased Nigerian content in goods and services delivery within the next four years. It also seems ambitious when it comes to increasing transparency in oil and gas finances and operations.

The Norwegian government created Statoil to ensure national control over the Norwegian petroleum resources and facilitate the highest possible local content in the Norwegian oil and gas industry. Statoil is now an international oil company, pursuing Norwegian national objectives in Nigeria, amongst other countries.

Statoil states it intends to deliver on the promises it has made towards the Nigerian government regarding Nigerian content in goods and services deliveries. The question is whether this will turn into reality, considering Statoil’s current level of engagement in capacity building in the Nigerian manufacturing industry.

Many consider Statoil to be in front among the oil companies when it comes to financial transparency. To us, the company does not seem to have any problems fulfilling the requirements of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Initiative. The fact that Statoil follows what seems to be the general Nigerian modus and does not make the Environmental Impact Assessments for their Nigerian operations publicly available, to environmental organizations or any other stakeholders apart from the Nigerian Department of Petroleum Resources, weakens Statoil’s image of transparency, however. It thus seems clear that Statoil runs on double standards from its country of origin, where it would be unacceptable not to disclose such environmental information of public interest.

Because of past and present experiences with petroleum activity in the Niger Delta, with widespread environmental destruction and little or no economic development, the population is deeply suspicious towards the oil companies. Because of this, Statoil has to prove itself when it comes to corporate social responsibility in Nigeria. Some Nigerian stakeholders look upon the company as a somewhat friendlier player because of their somewhat innovative (in the context of Nigerian oil sector) human rights work. But to expand this sentiment, and reduce the public’s suspicion would require improved information flows and a continuous dialogue vis-a-vis civil society.

Lastly, it is worth noting the paradox of Statoil fronting the most, and receiving most recognition for, their community development project in Akassa. It is not really part of Statoil’s own CSR-definition or mainstream definitions of the concept for that matter. While Statoil’s sponsorship work is commendable, core CSR is about using the assets of the company; its business skills and technological competence to develop the host nation and host communities, not to double as charitable aid workers.

pdf  Full report: Statoil in Nigeria, Transparency and local content 1.04 Mb
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