Marathon Oil respects the human, cultural and legal rights of individuals and communities. Our commitment stems from the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
We promote the goals and principles of the UDHR within our business relationships and work to prevent abuses and advance human rights in the communities where we operate.
We have been a participating member in the Association of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights since 2005 to emphasize our commitment to the UDHR. Due to the fundamental changes in our business strategy and geographic scope in recent years to focus on North American unconventional resource plays, Marathon Oil withdrew our membership in the Voluntary Principles association in May 2016. In our two significant operating areas outside of the U.S., the U.K. and Equatorial Guinea, we have well-established and effective security and human rights policies. Additionally, Marathon Oil intends to remain actively engaged in dialogue around human rights through our participation in oil and gas industry associations. We will continue to focus on operating safely and securely throughout the world, while respecting human rights.
Before entering a new location, we assess the security and social risks associated with our business activities and determine mitigation measures based on the risks we identify. We develop mitigation activities to promote business continuity, protect assets, safeguard personnel and minimize any potentially adverse impacts of our operations on stakeholders.
Our commitment is to manage security activities in a responsible and ethical manner in accordance with the best practices associated with the Voluntary Principles. We manage security through our Responsible Operations Management System (ROMS) element for Emergency Preparedness and Community Awareness. This element requires Marathon Oil to identify and engage with local communities, government emergency responders and other stakeholders within or adjacent to our operations regarding potential risks and planned response measures. We assess compliance with security and human rights practices using our three-tiered audit program. In addition, principles in our Corporate Sustainability Guidelines support our activities related to human rights, stakeholder engagement and other processes in communities where we operate.
In 2015, Marathon Oil had no known security-related incidents that resulted in a human rights violation. Our country-level implementation focused on our operations in Equatorial Guinea, where we are the operator of natural gas production and processing facilities. We employ a proprietary guard force to protect the onshore facilities and engage with the Navy of Equatorial Guinea for protection of offshore gas production facilities. The launch of an offshore exploration program and maritime facility upgrade project in 2015 gave Marathon Oil the opportunity to engage with host country authorities regarding human rights and rules of engagement.
We continue to participate in the IPIECA Responsible Security Task Force, which promotes best practices associated with implementation of the Voluntary Principles. Marathon Oil also participated in a group of Voluntary Principles corporate members that was organized by PAX to draft the Model Clauses for Security Agreements guidance.
Our focus areas in 2016 will be to finalize the Environmental, Social, and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) process to support activities in new locations, and work with IPIECA’s Responsible Security Task Force and observers to the Voluntary Principles to further develop the Memorandum of Understanding for the full scope of security cooperation between a company and a host nation government.