Skip to main content

Local economic growth and development

We have a responsibility to help advance economic development in the areas in which we operate.

As we develop oil and gas resources to meet the world’s growing energy needs, we work to contribute to the economic and social development of the countries in which we operate. We also seek to ensure a healthy supply chain, one that respects human rights and the environment while creating opportunities for economic growth in the communities where we conduct business. ExxonMobil’s local content and supply chain management strategies are designed to deliver lasting and shared value to host countries, local communities and our business. We do this by employing systematic and clearly defined processes, templates and global best practices to integrate local development into overall project planning and execution.

We believe local content — the added value brought to a host nation through the activities of the oil and gas industry — provides shared value to ExxonMobil and to the communities in which we operate, ensuring local participation is integrated into our daily processes. We align our goals with those of our partners to focus on establishing long-term economic benefits. We develop a local content plan specific to each country or area, taking into account social and economic conditions, the nature of the project and the community’s needs.

As part of ExxonMobil’s commitment to operational excellence, we participate in organizations and initiatives that improve local content management around the world. We are active participants in IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In 2015, we contributed to IPIECA’s local content task force and assisted in the development of IPIECA’s Local Content: A Guidance Document for the Oil and Gas Industry and the OECD’s Framework on Public- Private Collaboration for Shared Resource-Based Value Creation from Extractive Projects. Both of these documents were published in 2016.

Local hiring and training

We believe we have a responsibility to create local employment opportunities to help advance economic development and contribute to the continuity of our operations. As part of our effort to enhance the long-term capability of local workforces, we provide locally hired individuals with opportunities to develop technical and leadership skills that will benefit them throughout their careers, including after their work on ExxonMobil projects. We continued to make progress in hiring, developing and retaining host country nationals in 2015.

For example: 

  • In Angola, 82 percent of our personnel are Angolan, of whom 16 percent are in supervisory or managerial positions.
  • In Chad, 94 percent of our personnel are Chadian; 72 percent of supervisory or managerial positions are held by Chadians. 
  • In Equatorial Guinea, nearly 75 percent of our personnel are Equatoguinean, of whom 13 percent are in supervisory or managerial positions.
  • In Indonesia, 87 percent of our personnel are Indonesian; local staff hold 83 percent of supervisory or managerial positions.
  • In Nigeria, 94 percent of our personnel are Nigerian; 21 percent of local staff are in in supervisory or managerial positions.

Photo — Kanu Okechukwu, a production operator for Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, opens a manual valve to supply compressed air to equipment at the Erha North phase two project in Nigeria.

Our ability to hire locally depends on the availability of appropriately qualified individuals. We actively work to overcome challenges related to developing and retaining a local workforce, identifying and attracting skilled labor, and matching workforce skills with business requirements. For example, as economic activity in a particular area increases, the demand for local skilled workers also increases, which can result in a shortage of available workers.

We address such situations by supporting education and training initiatives aimed at increasing the pool of individuals from which we can recruit. Training programs include the provision of information on ethical business conduct, health and safety, management skills and fundamentals of the oil and gas industry, as well as relevant technical and vocational skills such as welding, construction and equipment operation.

To help develop the skills of locally hired individuals, we place experienced ExxonMobil expatriates — individuals working in a country other than their country of permanent residence — in countries where they can share their expertise and mentor local workers for operational and leadership roles. Additionally, a large number of local workers are placed in developmental assignments at ExxonMobil facilities around the world as a way to broaden their experience and accelerate their learning with the goal that when they return home, they will use and share this knowledge in their home countries’ operations. 

For example, Andreia Prata, a local hire in Angola, was placed on an assignment in the United States from 2010 to 2013. While in the United States, Andreia occupied several roles, including a senior planning and reporting analyst supporting the Downstream business and a project procurement associate supporting Upstream drilling and exploration. After this experience, Andreia returned to Angola where she is currently working as the area procurement manager overseeing acquisitions, warehousing and payables in the country.

  • Andreia Prata
    Andreia Prata

    Area procurement manager, Angola

    “My time in the United States contributed to both my professional development and personal maturity. I was able to gain a deeper understanding of ExxonMobil’s global operations as well as expand my professional network, both of which helped prepare me for my management role today.”

We operate several business support centers (BSC) that offer services to our global operations. We have 10,000 people working in centers around the world, including in Argentina, Czech Republic, Hungary and Thailand. These centers support our operations with financial, IT and customer services and provide jobs and business opportunities for the communities in which they are located. In December 2015, ExxonMobil held an opening ceremony for a new BSC in Bengaluru, India. One of the purposes of this office is to leverage the significant pool of technical talent in India. To date, there are more than 250 locally hired individuals working at the BSC, half of whom are women.

Photo — From left: Tom Walters, president of ExxonMobil Production Company; Alan Kelly, president of ExxonMobil Fuels, Lubricants and Specialties Marketing; and Bryan Milton, president of ExxonMobil Global Services Company celebrate the opening of the new business support center in Bengaluru, India.

Up Close: Partnering with the Institute of International Education to invest in local workforces

ExxonMobil is committed to providing long-term strategic investments related to the education and professional development of local workers, targeting various types of positions and levels. One of our key partners in developing local individuals for senior management positions is the Institute of International Education (IIE). IIE is a private, not-for-profit organization that creates programs of study and training for students, educators and professionals from all sectors. We have partnered with IIE since 2006 to provide academic scholarships to motivated students in Angola, Indonesia, the Middle East, North Africa, Romania and Russia.
To date, ExxonMobil scholarships have supported the educational and cultural development of 208 scholars in 13 countries. Scholarship recipients have pursued 36 different fields of study, and of those students who have graduated, 40 are currently employed by ExxonMobil.

Hakima Taoufiq, native to Rabat, Morocco, is one such student. Hakima earned her MBA from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she graduated first in her class in 2011. After graduation, Hakima joined ExxonMobil as a senior business analyst supporting the power and gas services group. Hakima is currently a senior business analyst supporting the liquefied natural gas group in Houston.

From 2014 to 2015, Hakima served as the supply and logistics coordinator responsible for the reliable and optimal supply of more than 15 terminals across the midwestern United States, which translates to more than 120,000 barrels per day of gasoline, distillate and biofuel.

Up Close:  Local contractor development in Nigeria

The Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited Erha North project started production in September 2015, five months ahead of the planned February 2016 start date. The project, which is estimated to produce an additional 165 million barrels annually from the previously in-production Erha North field, was completed with more than 6 million man-hours in-country without a lost-time incident, and the final cost was $400 million under budget.

The overall success of this project was in part due to strong performance by the local Nigerian suppliers and contractors that ExxonMobil employed, as well as a robust local content plan. The project team collaborated early in the project process with the Nigeria Content Management Board to identify local content opportunities to increase local supplier participation. The team also participated in regular communication with key stakeholders, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, co-venture partners, technical teams and suppliers to ensure strategic alignment and stay on schedule.

Photo — Personnel in Nigeria work with cargo barges and installation vessels belonging to a local supplier.

For example, more than 130 Nigerians were trained in various fields such as project engineering, scaffolding and fabrication, and 52 percent of trainees are now working full time on ExxonMobil projects. We also worked with several Nigerian companies to obtain necessary materials for the project, including sub-structures, pipes and mud mats. Throughout the project, ExxonMobil held multiple workshops with suppliers to help ensure that suppliers understood and complied with ExxonMobil’s supplier standards.

In 2015, ExxonMobil was recognized for its extraordinary local content program in Nigeria as the Best Company in Local Content in Nigeria by Businessday, one of Nigeria’s most respected business newspapers.

  • Nolan O'Neal
    Nolan O'Neal

    Local country manager, Nigeria

    The Erha North project demonstrates ExxonMobil’s disciplined management approach and expertise, and leveraged strong performance from Nigerian contractors, which accounted for more than $2 billion of project investment for goods and services, including subsea equipment, facilities and offshore installation. These contracts will bring direct and indirect benefits to the Nigerian economy through project spending and employment, consistent with project objectives.

Local supplier development

ExxonMobil works with a range of stakeholders, including host country governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local communities to develop local vendors for the supply of goods and services. We seek to build and maintain a qualified and globally competitive supply chain wherever we operate. Our goal is to nurture entrepreneurship and foster competitive businesses capable of contributing to the sustainable economic progress of host countries.

In order to be a supplier for ExxonMobil, a local vendor must be able to meet our safety, technical, environmental and human rights expectations and requirements. In some of the more remote locations where we operate, we face difficulties with identifying qualified local suppliers due to limited local capacity. ExxonMobil routinely assists suppliers in understanding our requirements, developing business processes and procedures and increasing their technical skills to become more competitive. Our long-term goal is to develop globally competitive suppliers. When a supplier is unsuccessful in competing for work with us, we provide them with advice and guidance on how to become better positioned for future opportunities with ExxonMobil or other companies. 

In October 2015, we held a workshop in Sakhalin, Russia, to educate potential contractors about our prequalification and bidding processes. The workshop included presentations by ExxonMobil personnel as well as roundtable interviews with local companies. In addition, participants received training on our safety, health and environmental expectations and requirements, and on how to effectively complete prequalification documents. In total, 26 companies from both Sakhalin Island and Russia’s mainland attended, and we identified a number of potential opportunities for business between ExxonMobil and these contractors.

Since 2013, ExxonMobil Cepu Limited (EMCL) has partnered with local and national NGOs to offer training and capacity-building programs to local communities in the Banyu Urip project area on the island of Java in Indonesia. As part of this initiative, in 2015, EMCL collaborated with the Bina Swadaya Foundation and the local community to establish a new learning center. The center is intended to help build local capacity by assisting 550 local residents in Bojonegoro and Tuban regarding product development, financial management and business mentoring. In addition, the learning center will provide long-term marketing and supply chain opportunities that will help the community develop diversified businesses for long-term sustainable growth. The learning center has already helped the community identify business opportunities with various buyers around key commodities, including rice, goats, koi fish and water spinach seeds.

To help promote safety among local suppliers, we implemented a driver training program for local driver personnel in Ivory Coast in 2015. The program was based on an earlier initiative in Madagascar, where ExxonMobil-employed drivers drove approximately 100,000 kilometers without any accidents or incidents. The goal of the training is to provide local drivers with practical skills as well as tools to respond to and mitigate driving risks. The extensive driver training includes a two-day defensive driving course, a first aid and passenger safety course and regular driver meetings to share lessons learned. The training program has helped the Ivory Coast venture office develop a local supply base while simultaneously improving the safety performance of our operations.