Project delays in the energy industry can be due to factors such as lack of support from local communities and landowners, or the presence of a fragile ecosystem. Incorporating early the views of communities and recognised environmental and social experts can help us design and deliver projects with local support.
Any major new business opportunity we work on follows a process that helps us plan and deliver the project. It includes five review points at which we decide whether to proceed with the project or not (see diagram below).
Before we begin substantial work on major projects or existing facilities we assess regulatory, environmental and social impacts alongside commercial and technical considerations. This includes conducting environmental, social and health impact assessments to help understand and manage risks and opportunities.
We also consider the potential cost of a project’s CO2 emissions in all major investment decisions, using a price of $40 per tonne of CO2.
We consult communities, governments, NGOs and environmental experts to help develop our plans and inform our approach. Such early engagement has led, for example, to re-routing pipelines, adjusting the schedule of seismic activities, and increasing our local contracting.
We check that the recommendations of the impact assessment are being adopted throughout the project and the lifetime of the operation. We often publish impact assessments to share the information they provide more widely. For example, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Nigeria published the impact assessments of its major projects on its website in 2010.