Developing long-term capacity in Sakhalin
We are developing a national workforce, training local suppliers and contractors, and enhancing roads, bridges, and medical facilities.
- Eighty per cent of our Sakhalin employees are nationals.
- The project has provided more than USD $13 billion in contracts to Russian companies.
- The project has invested more than USD $220 million in community infrastructure projects.
- More than USD $17 million in charitable contributions have been provided to local community organizations.
Advancing economic opportunities for women in Russia
Through our Women’s Economic Opportunity Initiative (WEOI), we’re empowering Russian businesswomen to fulfill their potential and drive change in their communities.
- We partnered with the non-profit organization Committee of 20, comprising leading Russian businesswomen, to conduct a study of more than 240 companies’ best practices for developing economic opportunities for Russian women.
- We also participated in the committee’s International Forum on Women and the Present-Day Economics in Moscow, where the results of this study were shared, discussed and examined.
Improving health care programs in Russia
In support of a government preventative effort, our new health program in Russia seeks to reduce mortality rates and increase the level of health care available in Russia.
- The program focuses on two areas – Murmansk and Arkhangelsk – with some of the highest mortality rates in Russia, which are increasing despite efforts to promote early detection.
- Our efforts involve raising visibility for the National Checkup Program, improving the qualifications of local radiologists, and purchasing new medical equipment for regional hospitals.
Engaging with indigenous groups
As part of our exploration assessment in the Beaufort Sea, we’re engaging with local communities by consulting with groups such as the hunters and trappers committees, community corporations, and elders committees. We’re also visiting schools, holding workshops and conducting studies such as the subsistence fisheries study.
We’ve conducted traditional knowledge studies to help us plan our shipping routes around areas that are used for harvesting, whale hunting and fishing.
In northern Alaska, we work with local communities and government authorities near our Point Thomson project to understand their concerns and avoid conflicts with their subsistence lifestyles.
- Through a comprehensive assessment and regular engagement, we identified several areas of concern to the local people and adopted corresponding measures to address these concerns.
- For example, the Kaktovik community – located 60 miles east of the project – relies, in part, on hunting and fishing for its food sources. We designed the 22-mile Point Thomson Export Pipeline, which runs through caribou habitat, to be 7 feet high in order to minimize the deflection of caribou migration patterns.
- Through consultation with residents, we also designed the pipeline with thicker walls in certain areas to protect against accidental strikes from coastal hunters.
Sharing the road with the Uilta community in Sakhalin
To support operations on the island, we built a bridge across Chayvo Bay to transport large modules. We stop all bridge traffic for local reindeer herders so that they can use the bridge on their annual reindeer drive.
Supporting local community traditions in Alaska
For more than 35 years, we’ve sponsored the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race® – known as the “The Last Great Race on Earth” – and helped train teachers through the Iditarod Education Program.
- In 2014, we extended our sponsorship of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race® and Iditarod Education Program with a five-year commitment. We’re working with educators to develop instructive, web-based math and science lessons that deepen students’ appreciation for completing the race across the challenging Arctic wilderness, while also improving their math, science and social studies skills.
- Each year, the Iditarod Winter Conference for Educators allows educators to share ideas and examine how the program – now reaching more than 10,000 classrooms around the globe – can continue to impact students.
Monitoring and protecting Arctic wildlife in Sakhalin
Working with recognized Russian experts, we monitored the Steller's Sea Eagle population that inhabits the marine coasts of Sakhalin.
- When studying sites for the future Sakhalin-1 facilities, we developed a comprehensive program for protecting the local population of Steller’s Sea Eagles using recommendations of leading Russian experts.
- Environmental scientists built artificial nests and special perches that protected more than 600 endangered birds against bear attacks.
Monitoring and protecting polar bears in Alaska
As part of our Point Thomson project, we work to monitor and protect polar bears near our operations – essential to the protection of both wildlife and our employees.
- We hold seasonal drills, conduct polar bear den surveys for our winter operations, and monitor polar bears using our visual and thermal site surveillance cameras.
- In 2010, a female polar bear and two cubs were spotted near an ice road constructed by the project to transport equipment and supplies. Working closely with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), we immediately closed the road, formed a 24-hour bear monitoring team, and held daily calls to coordinate protection efforts. Meanwhile, the construction team used an alternative means of transportation to support drilling operations.
- We’re currently piloting the use of ground surveillance radar for early detection of polar bears approaching facilities. We’ve also tested a new approach for detecting polar bear dens using synthetic aperture radar. These may prove to be important and innovative tools for enhancing the protection of wildlife and our employees.
Researching and protecting western gray whales near Sakhalin
Our science-based approach in Sakhalin, which involves more than 15 years of research, has demonstrated that we can coexist with our 40-ton neighbors.
- To safeguard the whales and their feeding grounds, we follow strict criteria based on published science and our research to minimize the potential disturbance produced by shoreline or offshore operations.
- The level of noise generation by seismic work, pipelines, drill rigs or a fixed platform are all managed to reduce adverse impacts in the surrounding marine environment.
Tagging and tracking western gray whales
ExxonMobil has established a successful research program to monitor western gray whales near our offshore operations in Sakhalin. This allows us to gain more information about the population size, their feeding, behaviors and habitat. Together with Sakhalin Energy, the operator of the Sakhalin 2 project, we have compiled one of the most comprehensive data sets in the world on western gray whale behavior and ecology.