Oil Search aspires to excellence in socially responsible oil and gas exploration and production. Our unwavering commitment to making a significant sustainable development contribution, especially in PNG, will play a major role in achieving this vision. Being a successful development partner is an important part of our social licence and is integrated into our corporate strategy.


The Company’s 2020 Social Responsibility Strategy places an even greater emphasis on the strategic importance of sustainable development. One of the Strategy’s two goals is to make PNG lives better by undertaking sustainable development activities that set the industry standard. Two major objectives are linked to this goal: having a meaningful sustainable impact beyond the lives of our projects, and extending our reach through partnerships with government and other local stakeholders.

Both objectives are addressed in our PNG Sustainable Development Strategy, which is under development. The Strategy will provide a concise framework for our sustainable development approach. It will confirm our priority areas and provides clearly defined outcomes, related initiatives, and a monitoring and evaluation framework.

We are using two measures of success for our sustainable development activities. These are: seeing a measurable improvement in sustainable development indicators for the identified priority areas, and for Oil Search to be publicly recognised as a private sector leader in PNG sustainable development.

This approach continues our long history of delivering sustainable development outcomes in PNG in the key areas of health, education and leadership, livelihoods and local enterprise development, women’s protection and empowerment, infrastructure and access to power. Every year, the Oil Search Foundation, our Community Affairs team, Medical and Occupational Health Service, infrastructure building teams and Oil Search Power Holdings Ltd make a significant difference to PNG communities.

The Executive General Manager Stakeholder Engagement and Social Responsibility oversees our sustainable development approach and is a member of the Oil Search Foundation Board and the Oil Search Board HSSC.

Sustainable Development Goals

Oil Search is committed to PNG’s nationwide development goals to improve the socio-economic development of PNG and help achieve system stability and functionality. Our sustainable development programmes also support and contribute to the progress of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) .

The SDGs represent a comprehensive plan of action for environmental sustainability, social inclusion and economic development and lay out an ambitious path to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect our planet.

Oil Search adopts a collaborative approach to sustainable development, and consequently in achieving the national and UN development goals. This involves cooperation and close relationships with governments, non-governmental organisations, peers, development partners and host communities. As part of the oil and gas industry, we have the potential to contribute by:

  • Enhancing our positive contributions through socio-economic development - Providing employment opportunities, livelihoods and enterprise development, access to affordable energy, making tax payments to governments and facilitating infrastructure improvements.
  • Alleviating or avoiding negative impacts - Addressing climate change and environmental impact, economic and social inequality, corruption, health and safety and the violation of human rights.

Integrating these goals in our activities enhances our social licence to operate and gives us with the opportunity to make a meaningful and sustainable impact.

More information on our performance against these goals is here .

Oil Search Foundation

The Company is the founder of, and principal donor to, the Oil Search Foundation, which plays a significant role in our ability to deliver community health services. Its structure and unique capabilities make it an important and visible aspect of our sustainable development approach in PNG. As well as health services, the Foundation contributes towards our leadership and education, and women’s empowerment and protection priorities.

We continue to pursue opportunities to strengthen impact measurement and reporting across all our sustainable development programmes. Understanding the social impacts of our operations and sustainable development projects is challenging, but it’s essential for ensuring the activities are appropriately targeted, planned and managed and that their connection with our business is understood. The Foundation has a detailed performance framework in place and sustainable development investment and output data and statistics are available from the Data Centre.