Children from Guinea Equatorial

Equatorial Guinea

bettering communities

Operating a World-Class Business and Bringing Progress to Equatorial Guinea

Since 2002, Marathon Oil has been the operator of a world-class integrated gas business at Punta Europa on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. We have invested significantly to improve our facilities and capabilities in this West African asset, most recently completing a major compression project that extends the life of our Alba offshore field beyond 2030.

We are committed to being a responsible, safe and ethical operator in Equatorial Guinea. Our focus is to continuously optimize operational efficiency and reliability, nationalize our staff, use more national suppliers, and maintain high standards for health, environment, safety and security (HES&S) performance. Marathon Oil’s continuous improvement efforts in Equatorial Guinea are grounded in our Responsible Operations Management Systems (ROMS). We continue to invest in a long-term malaria control program and a related vaccine initiative, while shifting our social investment focus from infrastructure to human capacity building.

Nationalizing Our Workforce and Advancing Education

We seek to increase the number of national citizens in our workforce in Equatorial Guinea through recruiting, training, workforce integration, and educational and vocational programs. Equatoguineans grew to be 79 percent of the total workforce of Marathon EG Production Limited (MEGPL) in 2017, when we employed over 700 national citizens, directly and indirectly, in our operations.

During the past five years, our internship program has provided 80 Equatoguineans with on-the-job experience in our facilities. This program is possible through our partnerships with local technical education institutes like “12 de Octubre” Technical College and the National University of Equatorial Guinea (UNGE). Internship opportunities are offered to students attending universities outside of the country during academic breaks. In addition, four Equatoguineans are seeking degrees at the University of Houston and Prairie View A&M University in Texas, USA, on Marathon Oil scholarships.

Marathon Oil Employee

Building a Sustainable Local Economy

To contribute to a sustainable local economy in Equatorial Guinea, Marathon Oil has increased local content in our operations. Since 2013, we have spent nearly U.S. $783 million with Equatoguinean vendors that are 35 to 100 percent locally owned.

Our local procurement staff shares information on upcoming contracts at regular meetings with local vendors and provides a procurement plan to the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons National Content Director twice each year. In 2017, MEGPL hosted 180 local business owners through national content workshops to inform them about our bidding process and national laws and regulations for doing business with the petroleum industry. Half of these vendors have active contracts with Marathon Oil for goods and services.

To work with us, prospective vendors must submit questionnaires focused on their company structure and ownership and, if applicable, their safety systems and capabilities for safety sensitive work. We review these questionnaires and either approve or reject them. Our contracts address the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), ethical business conduct and labor.

Marathon Oil’s Punta Europa companies – MEGPL, our liquefied national gas production facility (EG LNG) and Atlantic Methanol Production Company (AMPCO) - are making it easier for local businesses to work with us. The three companies have created the Punta Europa National Content Committee (PENCC) to identify and consistently engage potential local service and materials providers. PENCC simplified the new vendor set-up process across the three companies, and offers seminars to discuss commercial processes and underscore the Company’s commitment to health and safety. In 2018, PENCC will standardize the vendor disclosure questionnaire to facilitate registration and increase opportunities to develop contracts on Punta Europa.

Marathon Oil Employee designing

Maintaining Strong Safety and Environmental Performance

Marathon Oil invests in health, environmental and safety (HES) activities in Equatorial Guinea to improve safety performance and minimize environmental impact. MEGPL, EG LNG and AMPCO had a combined Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) of 0.17 in 2017, with over 4.7 million hours worked, compared to a TRIR of 0.04 during more than 5.1 million hours worked in 2016. EG LNG achieved a milestone of zero recordables in over 737,000 hours worked.

Our operations in Equatorial Guinea conducted more than 600 leadership safety engagements and more than 5,000 behavior-based safety observations in 2017, as well as awareness campaigns. MEGPL and EG LNG addressed a key safety risk by implementing hands-free tools to prevent employee hand injuries during lifting activities, and delivered safe driving principles and training for employees who drive personal and Company vehicles in Punta Europa. The National HES Committee that serves as the link for safety between management and national employees held a safety week, trained members on key processes and prepared a process safety management (PSM) awareness project.

No effluent discharges or spills greater than 1 barrel outside of secondary containment, both onshore and offshore, were recorded in our Equatorial Guinea operations in 2017. We attribute this performance to plant reliability of approximately 94 percent, and strong inspection and preventive maintenance programs. In addition, Marathon Oil recycled almost 830 tons of industrial waste in 2017, compared to 485 tons in 2016. The increase in volume was primarily due to recycling more oil waste that was previously incinerated and recycling scrap metals from facility maintenance. The Company is evaluating recycling opportunities for domestic waste.

Improving Public Health through Malaria Control 

Malaria is an endemic disease in Equatorial Guinea. Our primary social investment is the Bioko Island Malaria Control Project (BIMCP), a 14-year, multi-system public health program striving to eliminate malaria on Bioko Island and throughout the country. All BIMCP malaria control interventions are provided free of charge to all residents.

The BIMCP and the Equato-Guinean Malaria Vaccine Initiative (EGMVI), in partnership with the EG Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (EGMHSW), have invested more than U.S. $120 million in this effort since 2004. The two projects are funded through a public-private partnership of Marathon Oil, Noble Energy, AMPCO and the Government of Equatorial Guinea. Of the investment in the BIMCP, U.S. $83.5 million has been applied to build national capacity with a malaria intervention team employing over 190 Equatoguineans as spray team members, case management doctors, entomology technicians, and community outreach workers dedicated to malaria education and behavioral change nationwide. The BIMCP has resulted in positive impacts on all economic sectors and socio-economic levels of Equatoguinean society, especially people with the least means.

 During this time, through BIMCP’s efforts, malaria infection for 2 to 14 year olds has dropped over 75 percent to 11 percent of youth on the island; under 5 (years old) mortality has decreased by 85 percent; both malaria infection and anemia in pregnant women have been reduced to just 5.5 percent with parasitemia and 1.5 percent with anemia, net reductions or 68 percent and 77 percent respectfully; and infected mosquito biting is now just 5 infected bites per year per person, compared to 1,000 infected bites per year per person in 2004.

These outcomes opened the door to fund development of a candidate vaccine that protects recipients from malaria infection. Marathon Oil and our BIMCP partners are investing U.S. $41.5 million for three trials of a highly promising vaccine product to block malaria transmission in humans and mosquitos. The PfSPZ Vaccine® was developed by the U.S. biotechnology company Sanaria, Inc. In two safety trials in Equatorial Guinea and two in Tanzania, 171 volunteers received the vaccine.

Over 25 Equatoguinean doctors, nurses, lab technicians, pharmacists and other support staff have been trained to run the vaccine trials. The project has created infrastructure that enables the Government of Equatorial Guinea to participate in the international medical science research arena. Equatorial Guinea established its first internationally recognized national ethics review committee, and instituted a food and drug regulatory office within the EGMHSW. The EGMHSW is opening a reference laboratory where the EGMVI research team will train and support Equatoguinean laboratory and clinical professionals to carry out diagnostics and biological analytics at an international level. The lab will then seek to become a World Health Organization (WHO) certified reference lab with the aim of serving Equatorial Guinea and the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) region.


MEGPL Invests In Human Capacity

MEGPL invests in human capacity development focused on health and education. In 2017, 60 nurse midwives graduated from an 18-month training program we sponsored in partnership with the Foundation for Nursing Development (FUDEN), the EG Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and UNGE. The program provided in-depth training in the most up-to-date methods and skills required to practice midwifery in a low-tech environment. A post-graduation survey found that all of the nurse midwives were working with pre- and post-natal mothers and newborns. We expect later evaluations to show increased use of district health centers to provide prenatal and neonatal care, and a decrease in newborn and maternal deaths. Based on the success of this program, MEGPL will invest U.S. $780,000 in 2018 to support the FUDEN/UNGE partnership and train 70 additional nurse midwives projected to graduate in June 2020.

In addition, we support a host of smaller projects that benefit the community, such as the employee-driven Books for Bioko program. Since 2004, employees worldwide have raised almost $1 million for much-needed books and supplies for more than 6,000 students in nine Malabo schools.

To further develop human capacity, MEGPL hosted two workshops to train local nongovernmental organizations (NGO) to write effective grant proposals and budgets focused on the change they want to make in their community. The workshops are helping us shift our funding from infrastructure to human capacity building projects. We anticipate hosting additional workshops in 2018 for NGOs that want to submit proposals for 2019 projects.

 


Helping Children See the Future

MEGPL also launched the Ver Bien EG project in 2017 to ensure that youth with eyesight issues get proper care and medical attention, thereby improving their academic and social opportunities. Our corporate social responsibility staff was trained to screen children in certain private schools affiliated with our Books for Bioko program and public primary schools on Bioko Island. MEGPL negotiated a contract with a local optometrist to offer free eye exams and subsidized lens prescriptions to youth screened through Ver Bien EG. MEGPL, Books for Bioko and the Punta Europa Tennis Organization fund 80 percent of the cost of eyeglasses and frames and parents pay the remaining 20 percent. In 2017, 1,880 youth were screened and 90 received subsidized eyeglasses. Ver Bien EG also provides eyeglasses to public school teachers who need corrective lenses. In 2018, Ver Bien EG and the Equatoguinean National Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired will expand the screenings and eye exams to youth living in rural areas of Bioko Island and plan a project to impact children across Equatorial Guinea in 2019.

 

Chil with school project

Respecting Human Rights

Marathon Oil adheres to well-established and effective security and human rights policies in Equatorial Guinea, and we have had no known security-related incidents resulting in a human rights violation in our operations since acquiring the asset. We employ a proprietary guard force to protect our onshore facilities and engage with the Navy of Equatorial Guinea to protect offshore facilities. In 2017, we worked with the Government of Equatorial Guinea and the United States Coast Guard to review the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) to enhance safety and security at the country’s ports. While we ended our participation in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) because our business strategy shifted to focus on U.S. unconventional resource plays, we continue to engage in industry discussions regarding transparency of payments.

Running a World-class Enterprise

Our operations in Equatorial Guinea encompass the largest petroleum sector facility in the country and the largest methanol producer on the African continent. Marathon Oil is demonstrating how an oil and gas company can run a world-class enterprise and bring economic progress, educational and employment opportunities, and sustainable social programs to the community and host nation, while building long-term shareholder value.