Total re-positions its corporate social responsibility

*Targets 160,000brp from USAN deepwater field
*400MW in power generation

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

22 September, 2011, Sweetcrude, ABUJA– Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria has promised to intensify its corporate social responsibility activities to extend beyond its immediate neighbours to include a focus on a new vision for sustainable development for the entire nation.

Meanwhile, Total group has disclosed that it was targeting over 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) from its deep water USAN field.

Managing Director and Chief Executive of Total Upstream Companies, Mr. Guy Maurice, who disclosed this at the first ever Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Conference with the theme, Listening and Engaging with Stakeholders, in Abuja, noted that the conference was an effort to mobilize the willing participation of a diverse population of Nigerians to improving the companies CSR thinking and actions.

Mr. Maurice further revealed that the deepwater USAN field will reach first oil in 2012 by current estimates. “This demonstrates Total’s commitment and its confidence in the development of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. It also confirms the Group’s desire to pursue a strategy of growth and diversification in high potential exploration regions,” he said.

According to him, the development of three deepwater projects, presently at different stages of development in Nigeria’s offshore, could catapult Total, which is currently the fourth largest oil and gas producer in the country, to second in the next five years.

He also disclosed that the company’s 400MW power generation project in the Niger Delta has reached advanced stage. “We have engaged the government on a project on 400MW power generation in the Niger Delta. We have done all the technical work, and now we are finalising with the authorities, in terms of handling the legal framework in order to be able do the final investment decision,” he said.

He pointed out that the peaceful relationship with its communities follows Total’s positive engagement with them. “Apart from physical products like 24 hours power and schools, we are also going into engagement with them to define the projects that they want executed with our assistance. We are going into Enterprise development and other things that are sustainable so that they can progressively take over the development of their area by themselves,” he said.

Maurice observed that the security in the Niger Delta had been a major challenge for the past two years, adding, however, that since the government started promoting the amnesty programme in 2009, the company has recorded tremendous improvements in its operations.

“It does not mean that everything is perfect, but we are working at peace with our community,” he noted.

He noted that Total Upstream Companies would be 50 years old in Nigeria next year, thus a mature corporate citizen, adding that the conference was part of the company’s effort to mobilise the willing participation of diverse, creative Nigerians to improve its CSR policy.

He said, “In the areas where our operations directly impact on the people, we have deployed a Community Affairs entity to take care of ameliorating these impacts on a day to day basis, and sustainable development entities to take care of long-term issues.

“In areas where our operations are more peripheral in relation to the day-to-day life of our publics, we deploy Corporate Social Responsibility entities to support and accompany the stakeholders.”

According to him, “We have re-engineered our processes for the innermost circle through Memoranda of Understanding that are executed by the communities themselves with our help. The expenditure within the middle circle dedicated to the Niger Delta region is outsourced to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by statute.

“But we find that the use of resources deployed to the outermost circle are still being conceptualized, planned and implemented by our internal processes, and we believe that we should open up this part of our activities to external ideas,” he added.

Other speakers at the event include Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, and the immediate past Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Mrs. Amina Az-Zubair.

Maurice noted that worldwide, Total is the fifth integrated oil and gas company that is reputed for excellence in oil and gas exploration and production, but which is increasingly adding renewable energy to its list of competences.

“This signals a movement from an oil and gas producer to an Energy company. Just as we have changed our company names within this period, we have also changed and adapted our strategies on stakeholder engagements to the challenges of the times,” Maurice said.

He added that, “In Nigeria’s Upstream Oil and Gas sector, Total is one of the fourth largest oil and gas producers and one of the major players in the country’s Deepwater Developments with three major products at different stages of development in the deep offshore, which when completed could catapult Total to second or third position in Nigeria in the next five year.”

He pointed out that in the downstream sector, the company has over 500 service stations as well as plants and depots spread evenly throughout Nigeria.

According to him, “Total Nigeria Plc is the downstream business of Total Group in Nigeria, and has consistently set high standards in the oil marketing sector as well as in the Nigerian Stock Exchange where it has led the sector for many years.

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