The project consists of eight different case studies; Tanzania, Turkey, London, Hammerfest, Indonesia, Brazil, Iraqi/Kurdistan and Canada.
Statoil’s largest investment abroad ever is taking place in Tanzania and amounts to NOK 100 billion. The project is contentious in a number of ways. First, Tanzania has had very negative experiences from foreign investment in the mining sector. Second, the gas is found off the coast in Southern Tanzania, which is one of the poorest areas of the country leading to riots in 2013, and third, coastal Tanzania has a predominantly Muslim population and is culturally closer to Zanzibar where a separatist movement is contesting the union. Statoil, being acutely aware of such dangers, may therefore not try to ‘bypass’ the state but actively support Tanzania’s state building efforts to reduce the risk of conflict and secure a stable regulatory framework. Norway and Tanzania have been development partners for more than fifty years. This relationship, often termed “a close friendship” in diplomatic speeches, is an important backdrop for our analysis of Statoil’s CSR in Tanzania and the way it is interpreted by the different actors, government officials and politicians in particular. Researcher: Siri Lange.
Statkraft has since 2009 been involved in Turkey where they are constructing/operating three hydropower plants with a view to invest in more. To facilitate the growth of the energy sector the Turkish state has, especially since 2001, liberalized the sector, among other things making it increasingly easier for energy trans-national companies to invest and operate in Turkey. There is now massive ongoing construction of energy producing facilities across Turkey, many of which have been met with considerable resistance, but Statkraft’s projects seem to be relatively uncontroversial. There is however, some friction between the “universalist” CSR approach of international companies operating in Turkey and established codes and expectations for corporate ethics in Turkey. In this project we intend to focus on Statskraft’s head office in Oslo, on the country office in Istanbul, their subsidiary office in Ankara and on the company’s ongoing CSR work in the communities affected by the 470 GWH Kargı dam in Çorum in the Black Sea region. Researchers: Ståle Knudsen and Ingrid Birce Müftüoglu.
Statoil London, HQ Global Strategy and Business Development
While the company remains listed on the Oslo stock exchange (as opposed to FTSE 100), the establishment of this second command centre outside Norway, with a staff of 300 employees, is significant both symbolically, in signaling the company’s global outlook and position among the world’s leading 10 oil producers, and practically, in providing greater proximity to global capital markets, investors, and critically, to the arenas of global policy-making on environment and sustainable development. This case study will focus particularly on unpacking the complex relationship between policy and practice and how the notion of ‘the global’ itself is articulated and deployed as a key concept within CSR discourse, masking the local forces in which so-called global ethical regimes are shaped. Researcher: Dinah Rajak.
Det Norske Oljeselskap (DNO), Northern Iraq
As the first international oil company, DNO signed what was to become a controversial Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in 2004. Iraqi Kurdistan has a so called business-friendly climate that gives “maximum” rights to investors, and there is no fiscal system. What expectations - socially, morally and policy founded - do DNO relate to as a Norwegian listed company? Examining a private owned oil company based in Norway makes it possible to examine the role of the Norwegian state, its influence on ethics and responsibilities, both inside and outside energy companies, and in this case not as an owner but, potentially, as a moral component. Researcher: Synnøve Kristine Nepstad Bendixsen.
Indonesia was the first country to make CSR investments mandatory. Does this affect the way Statoil conducts its CSR compared to other countries where such laws are lacking? We will examine how the corporate social investment and CSR activities of Statoil affect local communities in Mamuju, West Sulawesi, how local stakeholders receive and perceive such investments, and whether or not such social investments can be said to play a strategic role in the company’s stakeholder management. Researcher: Tarje Iversen Wanvik.
Statoil’s entry into the oil/tar sands exploration in Canada has been contested from the start in 2007. This project will analyse how different local groups, including indigenous rights activists, experience Statoil’s social engagement in the area, how Statoil meets its criticism and if the CSR efforts, especially in the educational sector, take over State-/Provincial duties and create a high dependency on the industry. Researcher: Lena Gross.
Statoil Northern Norway
The city of Hammerfest has changed drastically over the past 10 years, having become home to two petroleum projects run by Statoil and Eni Norge. Whilst proposed mining projects nearby cause great controversy, the petroleum development has been comparatively less contested by different groups in society. Looking at the perceptions and changes of how the industry and companies in question operates, part of my research investigates how corporate social responsibility is performed and the different forms and degrees of consent operating in the surrounding society, from the indigenous Sámi to fishermen and those who work directly for the industry. Researcher: Ragnhild Freng Dale.
The case study will not only focus on how the company is formulating and putting into practice its CSR-policies, but also how the fact that Norway (due to the country’s own politico-ideological history) may be one of the few countries where a state-centered and development-oriented approach to oil development may —at least on the discursive level—have some resonance. How do these features shape the relationship, encounters and dynamics between Statoil and its host country? Researcher: Iselin Åsedotter Strønen