What is our role in a particular community? What requirements are being placed on us? Are the local content requirements reasonable, or are there other options that would generate more value to the local community and to our business? And, equally importantly, how do we optimise internally so as to generate excellence in Maersk Drilling’s local content performance? In 2015, Maersk Drilling continued to investigate the context of its local content in search of answers to these questions.
Setting the scene
The area of local content is not novelty for Maersk Drilling. We have many years of experience with operating with local content requirements – for instance in Norway and Azerbaijan - although their contexts differ from countries like those of West Africa. We can transfer some of our experience to more challenging locations, but we have had to make additional investments in local content in order to grow our business in emerging markets.
Maersk Drilling is subject to local content requirement in 7 out of the 11 countries we operate in and is in 100% compliance with the requirements. We were particularly challenged by the local staffing requirements in West Africa that specifies that local employees are to take on higher and more demanding positions. Our ambition is to overcome this challenge in the years to come.
The first step was to develop our Local Content Strategy, which focuses on value creation by aligning our organisation to meet local expectations. Applying this strategy, Maersk Drilling aims to build a strong value proposition. Although local content requirements can pose a challenge to Maersk Drilling, we believe that we can benefit as much from incorporating local content as can the society we are collaborating with.
To support Maersk Drilling’s ambition, in 2015 we continued to optimise our organisational capabilities by formalising the involvement of representatives from different departments of Maersk Drilling in a local content reference group. Using our operation in Angola as a pilot project, we have produced a local content guideline plus a framework for assessing our local content performance.
An investment in host nations and business opportunities
If you wonder about what Local Content is all about, then take a look at our business activities in Ghana.
As of 2015, 40% of Maersk Drilling’s employees on board Maersk Voyager operating offshore Ghana and 50% of the employees at the local office were Ghanaian.
In order to ensure local growth through resource development, many economies have introduced local content requirements into their governmental and regulatory frameworks, as well as into their formal stakeholder expectations. Maersk Drilling believes that if host nations, oil companies, drilling contractors and other business partners work strategically to include local content, then value will be maximised for all parties.
40% Ghanaian employees on board Maersk Voyager
Maersk Drilling is very content with the way local Ghanaian employees performs in the company. What is happening in Ghana could very well develop into a model for how to work with local content other places.
“We have many good Ghanaian employees currently employed. Some of them have already been promoted to higher and more demanding positions and we are currently training others to follow in the same direction,” says Ben Pomford, Rig Manager of Maersk Voyager in Ghana.
As part of our local content plan, the Rig Team has a number of positions that they would like to nationalize over the coming years. They plan to provide Ghanaians with training and prepare them for these positions.
“The local authorities see great value in Ghanaians getting as much knowledge and training as possible from companies like Maersk Drilling and the Ghanaians are very proud to work for us, which brings us great value in return,” explains Ben Pomford.
Local content requirements
Maersk Drilling’s Rig Team in Ghana is in close dialogue with the local authorities. The Rig Team has developed a local content plan, which has been approved by the Ghanaian Petroleum Commission. The local content plan is discussed on an ongoing basis and the Petroleum Commission advises and directs the Rig Team on how best to proceed.
“The local authorities wants us to train Ghanaians to make them capable of running drilling rigs themselves in the future. They are well aware that this will not happen overnight, but they hold a strong stance in getting Ghanaians trained and ready for the future, says Ben Pomford”.
Ready for the future
With its newfound oil richness and its position as one of the most prosperous West African countries, Ghana stands to benefit immensely from foreign investments. In 2015, Maersk Drilling commenced on a 3.5-year contract with Eni Ghana Exploration and Production in the Offshore Cape Three Points Project.
Foreign investments can lead to local development if foreign and local stakeholders cooperate. In Ghana, the local stakeholders are conscious that the oil and gas industry in Ghana is only in its first phase and that it can positively affect the country through employment, procurement and capacity development