We are sensitive to the diverse cultures with whom we interact and aim to make a positive contribution to the communities located near to our operations.
The Company is committed to conducting its business to high ethical standards and in an open and honest manner. We seek to be fair in our relationships and dealings with our counterparties and strive to maintain strong relationships with our business partners, host government and with the communities close
to our operations.
Our operations play an important role in supporting the development of the oil and gas sector in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and in contributing to the region’s overall economic growth.
In 2013 Gulf Keystone developed a Corporate Responsibility (“CR”) Plan, which was approved by the KRG’s MNR, outlining ways in which we are working with them and the local authorities on an ongoing basis to achieve common social responsibility aims. The CR Plan has a particular focus on local community engagement and investment, including employment, training, education and healthcare initiatives.
The CR Plan fulfils three objectives:
• to set out our CR strategy and delivery programme;
• to meet the KRG’s requirement for all oil and gas companies to prepare and submit a forward-looking CR Plan; and
• to set out the health, safety, security and environment (“HSSE”) elements of the CR Plan to reflect the management of policy responsibilities within the KRG.
We are currently reviewing our CSR policy.
We believe that a successful CR plan is essential if it is to meet our production obligations and targets in a way that delivers maximum return on investment while addressing the significant community, environmental, workplace and market issues that are common to any responsible production company.
Our success is in part dependent on the quality of the relationships we build with the communities established near our operational sites. We anticipate that we will work alongside many of these communities for a minimum of 20 to 25 years in accordance with our PSC. We expect this social and economic relationship to grow and strengthen through the community support we provide, the employment opportunities we offer, and the willingness of our local communities to workwith us to create prosperity.
We highly value our workforce and are committed to providing a workplace free from discrimination, where all employees are afforded development opportunities and are rewarded upon merit and ability.
Our past community projects have included renovating schools, building community halls, water pumps and access roads and supplying computers and uniforms to youth centres and schools respectively. In 2013 we were awarded a ‘Certificate of Thanks and Appreciation’ from the Mayor of Shaikan, Ismail Mustafa, in recognition of these projects. In 2016 we continued our community projects which included installing a water well, two generators and a 1,000m water supply pipe for a local village. In addition, we plan to increase the level of purchases of supplies and services from the villages and towns around our facilities in order to benefit the surrounding communities.
We strive to work in the interests of the people who directly contribute towards the successof Gulf Keystone’s operations. This includes all our employees and contractors and we strive to ensure their safety and wellbeing while supporting individual educational and training needs. Our aim is to maintain a first class operations team in the field and throughout the broader organisation.
We have a Competency Based Framework (“CBF” or “Framework” ) in place to help manage and develop our workforce. The Framework was designed and tailored for surface operations at the two main Shaikan Production Facilities centres, PF-1 and PF-2. This Framework is promoted as the ‘standard’ for the industry in country by The Kurdistan Oil & Gas Workforce Capability Development, an initiative started by the MNR. The programme encourages the development of our production operations staff in order to deliver sustainable levels of competency for safe and efficient operations through training and objective assessment. We believe the programme is an invaluable tool enabling us to improve performance, achieve consistency, communicate effectively, ensure a fair system for promotion and provide career paths for our employees.
It has been another excellent year for the CBF with further promotions of our staff members to senior positions, with a total for the year of 15. We also have an annual sponsorship scheme in place which allows for three Kurdistan employees to study for masters’ degrees at top-tier universities within the United Kingdom and for one high-potential employee to continue their studies at postgraduate level. This scheme ensures we achieve our commitment of contributing to Kurdistan workforce development, and have highly educated national employees.
A locally derived, skilled and engaged workforce is a key criterion for sustainability of the business. The proportion of Kurdistan national employees in country now exceeds 80%. Our long-term plan is to increase that to 90%, specifically in senior and management positions.