Environmental groups are an important and influential stakeholder for Tullow in Suriname. Previous activity in relation to oil exploration in neighbouring French Guiana had been met with local environmental opposition and Tullow has been keen to build a co-operative relationship with local environmental groups in Suriname.
Open dialogue with our key audiences and opinion formers is important to our success as a business. It informs our management of above ground risks and shapes how we create shared prosperity in host countries. As an oil and gas business, we have a significant job to do to manage our environmental impacts. Naturally, this is an issue of great interest to some of our external audiences. We proactively discuss and debate our approach in this area, so as we evolve our approach, it is informed by the views of key groups.
In 2012 we invited representatives from investment funds, NGOs and civil society to meet with Tullow’s EHS, operational and technical personnel for our first environment-focused multi-stakeholder forum. Held under the Chatham House Rule, we had a candid discussion on the challenges faced by the business and how we meet and manage expectations of those outside the business. While the focus of the session was EHS issues Tullow has impact or influence over, because of the varying backgrounds and roles of participants, the discussion incorporated a broad range of issues that went beyond EHS. These included Tullow’s vision and our role in the broader context of oil and gas development. A recurring theme was a call for more transparency and better communication on all issues of concern to our external audiences.