Greenlandic regulations require that companies conduct a Social Impact Assessment before undertaking exploration drilling activities. A key part of this assessment is a Social Baseline Study, which provides descriptions of existing social conditions, development trends and development goals in the communities potentially affected by exploration drilling in the area.
Four oil and gas companies are developing plans that might lead to exploration activities in North-West Greenland: Maersk Oil Kalaallit Nunaat A/S, Cairn Energy PLC, ConocoPhillips and Shell Greenland. As the four operators will all be active in the same area, only one Social Baseline Study is needed. The companies therefore agreed to collaborate, and have chosen Maersk Oil to lead the joint study.
Experts from each of the companies and their Greenlandic joint venture partner NunaOil is invited for a panel to support and guide the study, which will be finished by summer 2013.
“The collaboration will strengthen the assessment by addressing total impact in the area, avoiding repeated work and ensuring public consultation. A stronger assessment will help to ensure that potential industry impact are identified and mitigated, and that potential future social investments related to exploration activities are coordinated between the four operating companies to increase local benefits,” said Carsten Sønderskov, Managing Director for Maersk Oil Greenland.
The Social Baseline Study will be coordinated by the international consultancy, Golder Associates, in partnership with a Greenlandic consultancy, Inuplan. Further experts have been identified through a search in the Greenlandic media, and will be incorporated in the study.
“In our former collaboration with Golder and Inuplan, we have been pleased with their expertise and experience. They have sufficient resources to secure a high-quality study and will work with local experts to ensure relevance and inclusion of local knowledge,” said Sønderskov.