We take a structured approach to respecting property rights in communities where we operate, and we pay particular attention to those areas populated by indigenous peoples. Wherever land is required for Upstream projects, we adhere to the applicable host-country regulatory requirements that govern land acquisition activities and our Land Use Standard. If projects are externally financed, we also comply with land use, access and resettlement requirements stipulated by the lender(s).
Site selection is a key process when managing land use-related impacts, including in those areas inhabited or used by indigenous peoples. Several locations are typically assessed based on technical criteria such as availability, accessibility, safety, security and constructability, as well as other criteria such as reducing environmental and social impacts. The criteria are then evaluated and locations are ranked to determine the lowest overall risk and preferred options.
For example, ExxonMobil is currently partnering in a potential offshore gas and LNG plant development project in the southern coastal region of Tanzania. Early in the exploration phase, the partners agreed to conduct a site selection process aligned with national environmental impact legislation and IFC Performance Standards requirements. Initially, the partners conducted the process independently, using Tanzanian and international experts to gather and analyze the available technical, environmental and social data on potential sites. Most sites were disqualified or eliminated because of elevated impacts or risks in one or more of these categories, resulting in a short list of six sites that were ranked in terms of differential impacts and risks across seven technical and 10 environmental and social criteria. The evaluation criteria were aimed at ensuring the site selection process focused on the technical feasibility and cost of construction and operation, while at the same time avoiding significant adverse risks and impacts and enhancing benefits to the local population, the environment and Tanzanian society. Upon completion of the assessment, a site selection report and recommendation on the preferred site were provided to the government. The government of Tanzania supported the preferred site location and has initiated its statutory process to acquire the site while recognizing the partners’ requirements.
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