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A decisive contribution to local communities

Article - August 5, 2014
The company contributes to a number of projects in education and health, in particular in the fight against malaria
Does oil benefit the people in countries where international oil companies operate? Oil companies respond to this fundamental question through their corporate and social responsibility policies. For Noble Energy, these are not just words coined by some astute public relations consultant but a reality. In Equatorial Guinea, the Texan oil company has undoubtedly made a mark.

Noble Energy can pride itself on having a stellar safety record. Also, it gives jobs to local people. “We have around 240 Equatoguinean employees and contractors out of a total workforce of approximately 360. The percentage of local employees in the workforce grew by 8% in 2013 alone,” says Gene Kornegay, Vice President and Country Manager at Noble Energy, adding that the company spent half a million dollars on training for the Equatoguinean staff last year.

Furthermore, Noble Energy actively participates in tackling the country’s most pressing health challenges, namely malaria and HIV. Indeed, one of the most important projects in which it is involved is an anti-malaria program, to which it has contributed over $13 million. “This program has helped reduce the malaria parasite by 70% in children under 15 since 2004, and contributed to a decrease in mortality rates in children under 5 years old from 152 to 55 per 1,000 in 2012,” says Gene Kornegay.

A very exciting development is that tests are now being conducted for a vaccine. “It is a joint effort of Sanaria – a company established to develop the vaccine –, the World Health Organisation and other institutions as well as the government of Tanzania. If successful, this vaccine will eliminate malaria as a disease.”

Noble Energy also contributed more than $750,000 to 13 social projects on Bioko Island and the mainland. These projects focused on education, water supply, nurse professionalization training, and the development of a children’s park in Malabo.

Noble Energy completed several community water-well projects to provide clean water to local communities. Prior to the installation of these wells, many families depended on their children traveling for miles to get drinking water.

In the area of education, the company was a founding partner of Equatorial Guinea’s Geoscience Education program. The collaborative project between the University of South Carolina (USC) and the National University of Equatorial Guinea provided training and scholarships for the completion of bachelor’s degrees in Geology and Engineering at USC.

“Through our sponsorship program, we worked with small civil society organizations to support HIV/AIDS education initiatives, women’s empowerment, sportsmanship, local music, food distribution and library support,” concludes the Noble Energy Vice President.