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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 Business 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.

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 (OSF), 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 Oil Search Board and the Board HSSC oversees our sustainable development approach.

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 in achieving the national and UN development goals. This involves cooperation and close relationships with governments, non-government organisations, peers, development partners and project area 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 into our activities enhances our social licence to operate and operational stability and gives us the opportunity to make a meaningful and sustainable impact.

More information on our performance against these goals is here .

Supporting community organisations

Our investment in community organisations aims to build their capacity and effectiveness. It also allows us to extend our reach through partnerships and to leverage our partners’ local expertise and knowledge so we can make greater progress towards shared development outcomes. In addition, championing causes that are meaningful to employees improves their engagement with the Company.

The Sponsorship and Donations Committee in Port Moresby oversees the PNG donations programme. Our field operations teams distribute items such as wheelbarrows, generators, milling machines and sewing machines, clothing and books. These are donated directly to local cooperatives and institutions, many of which are run by women, to help these grass-roots organisations have a direct and meaningful impact.

When choosing charities and initiatives, we consider their alignment with our sustainable development priorities as well as employee requests and feedback. We direct most of our support for community organisations towards those focused on community health and women’s protection and empowerment.

We also contribute to and support the work of community organisations as the founder and principal donor to OSF. To find out more about the work of the Foundation, see the Oil Search Foundation section.

Outside OSF, the Company regularly contributes to a number of community organisations. We also support staff participation in several charity events. Please see the employee engagement section of our 2018 Social Responsibility Report for more information. To find out more about how you can support community organisations, email us.

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

Read more about our contribution to sustainable development here: