Shell contributes to local economic development in the countries where we operate, directly or through our partners. We work with governments and partners to help create jobs and support the development of local businesses. At the start of a project we consider how we can best make use of local suppliers and individuals, helping them to build capabilities that meet our safety and quality standards.
For example, in Iraq, we selected five local companies in 2014 to take part in a pilot programme to train suppliers to meet international standards. We currently have 350 local suppliers registered with us in Iraq. In Oman, we work with government-owned Petroleum Development Oman (Shell interest 34%) to increase local opportunities in the energy sector. Since 2011, around 10,000 jobs have been created for Omanis.
In Nigeria, we have developed a partnership with five banks to assist Nigerian contractors to access finance. Those who are awarded contracts with Shell are offered favourable funding terms from the participating banks in Nigeria. In 2014, the funding scheme enabled 27 contractors to access loans worth more than $175 million.
In Qatar, Shell signed a strategic partnership agreement with Qatar Development Bank to offer business opportunities to the small and medium enterprise (SMEs) sector and local companies. Shell awarded three contracts to SMEs in 2013 and five new contracts during 2014.