ExxonMobil Development Company (EMDC) is in the project management business. The company currently manages a portfolio of more than 120 projects on five continents. Today's projects are often progressed in sensitive environments, against a backdrop of complex regulatory frameworks and fragile socioeconomic settings. The manner in which these risks are identified, assessed, and managed can significantly impact the success of a project and, importantly, its longer-term operations.

Engaging the hearts and minds of our project teams early on is the key to successfully managing these stakeholder risks. Just a few of EMDC's strategies described in this paper include:

  • Leadership: Established a Socioeconomic Center of Excellence for all Upstream activities

  • Process: Formalized a screening process during concept selection focused on environmental and socioeconomic alternatives

  • Collaboration: Created an online "suitcase" for project teams with key guidance, tools, and project examples

  • Learning: Developed a flexible training framework for project management using targeted "leadership briefings"

Our strategies can help small and large project operators and contractors engage the hearts and minds of their own people, enabling them to tackle the evolving challenges of key stakeholder risks. The strategies apply in developed and developing countries alike, at either greenfield or brownfield locations, and under any fiscal terms.

The journey is ongoing but EMDC is seeing progress in managing this important aspect of our global business. The success of our work on Sakhalin Island has led to new resource opportunities across Russia. The Point Thomson Project on Alaska's North Slope has successfully deployed new practices and technologies to protect the environment. And while the world-class LNG project in PNG has been challenging on several fronts, these "heart and mind" strategies are steadily taking root.

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