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.

Social development & investment

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.

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Local communities

Oil Search’s presence has the potential to have an impact — both positive and negative — on the day-to-day lives of project area communities, so having the trust and support of local stakeholders is important for our success.  We experience minimal material interruptions to our operations from community unrest, demonstrating the enduring strength and quality of these relationships. The stability of the local operating environment depends on how our employees and contractors interact and engage with local communities, and on how we contribute to inclusive sustainable development.

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Human Rights

Respect for human rights and the desire to do no harm underpin a socially responsible approach to our operations in host countries and across our supply chain. Together with our commitment to sustainable development, this helps us to maintain strong community relations and a responsible operating environment.

Our Social Responsibility Policy identifies our high level commitment to human rights.

Oil Search is a signatory to the UN Global Compact and a corporate participant in the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR). Our human rights approach also considers and aligns with the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights.

These important initiatives inform our approach and affirm our commitment to:

  • Respecting international norms of behaviour and recognising human rights, including the rights of Indigenous peoples, by seeking to avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts from our activities.
  • Undertaking human rights due diligence and consider human rights in our risk and impact assessments.
  • If any impacts inadvertently occur, acting to mitigate or address them. While we have a significant commitment to sustainable development, first and foremost we are committed to ‘doing no harm’.
  • Respecting laws wherever we operate.
  • Having and continuing to undertake appropriate due diligence of our activities and management controls.
  • Supporting appropriate access to grievance mechanisms and appropriate remedies when required

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Responsible supply chain

Oil Search’s success is underpinned by a holistic approach to managing the risks and opportunities within our supply chain, which can directly influence the operational impact and reputation of all our partners and members of our supply chain.

Supplier performance, including sustainability performance, can significantly reduce our costs and risks and increase productivity. Ensuring a sustainable supply chain is a key element of our overall supply chain management strategy and presents an opportunity to foster the sustainable development of both the PNG economy and the economy within our host communities.

Responsible management of our supply chain is one of the principles of our Code of Conduct. This states that all contractors, suppliers and business partners must be selected, engaged and managed on the basis that they are expected to follow policies and procedures that are consistent with Oil Search’s Values and Policies, including our Code of Conduct and our Corruption Prevention and Social Responsibility Policies.

Under the Australian Modern Slavery Act, in 2021, Oil Search will be required to issue a Modern Slavery Statement that covers our supply chain. In anticipation of this requirement, and to signal our commitment and intent, we have prepared a Preliminary Modern Slavery Statement to provide an overview of our planned approach.

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