In Equatorial Guinea where we have played a role in exploration and development of oil resources for more than 20 years, and Cameroon and Gabon where we have a smaller presence, we are investing in initiatives to address significant health issues including malaria control and neonatal health. We are also supporting education and environmental initiatives. We also supported community efforts in Sierra Leone prior to exiting the country during 2015.
- Since 2005, Noble Energy has been a key part of the Bioko Island Malaria Control Program and the Equatorial Guinea Malaria Vaccination Initiative – a huge undertaking to fight one of Africa’s biggest health problems. Malaria kills approximately 600,000 people a year. In 2015, we invested $2.7 million toward these projects, bringing our total commitment, since inception, to nearly $19 million. The public-private partnership between Noble Energy, Marathon Oil and the Equatorial Guinea government is working to stop the spread of malaria through immediate preventive steps as well as longer-term solutions. Preventive actions have included distributing bed nets to more than 85 percent of the homes in Malabo and providing indoor residual spraying in more than 80 percent of targeted homes. Looking longer term, the partnership in 2015 reported very promising results from a full year of vaccine clinical trials and monitoring. The Bioko Island Malaria Control Project was named the 2015 CSR Project of the Year by The Oil & Gas Year, an industry publication.
- During 2015, Noble Energy formalized an agreement with the United Nations Population Fund to invest more than $6 million over a four-year period on a project to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality rates in Equatorial Guinea. The project will be administered by the Equatorial Guinea Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and includes education, infrastructure, capacity building and training at two main hospitals and various local clinics both on Bioko Island and the Equatorial Guinea mainland. This project will be linked to Noble Energy’s neonatal health partnership with Legacy Community Services in Houston, to share learnings between the programs.
- Noble Energy made support grants to several small local community organizations. For each one, our funding meant support for ongoing activities at a crucial time:
- A Malabo-based organization working with at-risk females and high-risk HIV candidates to provide education, access to health testing, and support
- Malabo’s only organization focused on helping women who are victims of violence
- An organization based in Bata that provides training, education, and small infrastructure development in vulnerable, impoverished communities
- In Malabo Dos, Noble Energy hosted a seven-month series of free English language classes for local university students completing degree programs relevant to the oil and natural gas industry. In May, 46 students at the National University of Equatorial Guinea completed the 100-hour program.
- Noble Energy’s EG-based Financial Analyst Consuelo Dougan Schaffer was selected as a member of the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders – part of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. This is the second year in a row that a Noble Energy EG employee has been selected for this prestigious program to invest in the next generation of African entrepreneurs, educators, activists and innovators.
- We support education and training of the local workforce through the National Technological Institute of Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea (ITNHGE) and Aberdeen Skills and Enterprise Training (ASET). As of year-end 2015, we sponsored 30 members of the local community in ITNHGE training. We also sponsored 38 members of the local community in ASET training, and 31 are working for Noble Energy on the Aseng FPSO or Alen Platform.
- In the Basupu community on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea, we are helping the community fulfill its dream of a unified, modern school building. The project broke ground in 2015 and will replace an aging structure that served as the school for all students from preschool to secondary school. The new structure will serve more than 150 students and includes an upgraded community soccer field.
- In the Basakato West community on Bioko Island, we funded renovation of an old, historic boy’s boarding school. The school, “Dulce Nombre de Maria” (Sweet Name of Mary) serves more than 120 students, most of whom reside on campus. The project included the demolition and rebuilding of the main classroom structure, provision of a temporary classroom facility, and construction of a new two-story administration, dormitory and facilities building.
- In 2015, we continued our $3.14 million, five-year commitment to create economic opportunity through the management of coastal resources. This innovative project, launched in 2014 in partnership with the U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), supports training, education and capacity building in selected coastal communities located in Equatorial Guinea’s protected environmental areas. WCS is working with these fishing and farming communities to instill best practices, biodiversity education, market education, and skills development to enable the residents to enhance their livelihood while protecting delicate ecosystems.
- To celebrate Earth Day in April, Noble Energy led a coastal clean-up campaign in Equatorial Guinea in partnership with the United States Embassy of Equatorial Guinea, Drexel University’s Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program and the Universidad Nacional de Guinea Equatorial. Sixty volunteers from Noble Energy and partner organizations worked across more than two kilometers of South Bioko Island’s Ureca coastline. The Urecan coastline is part of the Gran Caldera Scientific Reserve and serves as a nesting ground for four endangered species of marine turtles. The one ton of waste recovered was delivered to a new waste segregation facility.
- Noble Energy volunteers participated in Earth Day-inspired activities for more than 100 students from five different schools, hosted at the Maria Cano School in Malabo. Activities led by local artists and volunteers included creating sea turtles from recycled materials, creating planters out of recycled bottles, singing songs and enjoying a presentation about the island’s sea turtles. Our volunteers assisted members of the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program, the U.S. Embassy, and several other oil companies in the effort.
- Noble Energy employees funded and hosted a “Children’s Biker Build-Off” to raise funds to purchase 16 bicycles and helmets for the Malabo Orphanage and Estrella’s de Rebola, a girls’ football club and community center. At the event, employees and local business partners formed teams to compete in a variety of activities, culminating with assembling a bicycle. After the contest, the bikes were checked for safety and prepped to give to the children.
- Noble Energy’s sponsorship enabled an unused space in the Alcaide neighborhood of Malabo to be transformed into a new children’s park. The Alcaide Park for Children spans more than 10,000 square meters and features two basketball courts, a soccer field with synthetic grass, volleyball courts, gardens and green spaces. The project was implemented by Noble Energy in collaboration with the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy and the City of Malabo.
Malabo Children’s Park
- In Cameroon, we worked with the Cameroon Ministry of Public Health to expand the scope of the agreement we signed in 2014 for Ebola prevention and control and we used funds under this agreement to address prevention of other infectious diseases in other parts of Cameroon. Under the original agreement, Noble Energy supported Jhpiego, a non-profit affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, in a project to help Cameroon prepare for an Ebola outbreak by improving infection prevention control methods. JHPIEGO was already active in Cameroon providing malaria education materials and working with local clinics. The infection prevention training was not only effective in helping to prevent the spread of Ebola in Cameroon, but it is also valuable in preventing the spread of HIV and other viral and bacterial infections.
- An additional $72,000 was committed in late 2015 for education on infectious disease control in Cameroon’s Kribi and Ebolowa districts. The project will be implemented in 2016.
In Sierra Leone, we contributed $720,000 toward community health projects led by our operating partner. We exited Sierra Leone in the second quarter of 2015.
In our new venture area in Gabon, we and our operating partner committed $1.8 million in 2015 that will fund projects in 2016 in collaboration with the Government of Gabon. All projects are expected to come online in 2016.