When the Government released ExxonMobil’s local content report for the first quarter of 2018, both parties came in for much criticism. Transparency advocates and even international local content experts chided the government for accepting ExxonMobil’s listing of Stabroek Market, restaurants, utility companies like the Guyana Power and Light, and advertisements to the media, as local content.

These advocates made it pellucid that such should not be counted as local content since they do little to transform the lives of citizens.

But Exxon’s partner on the Stabroek Block, Hess Corporation, sought to defend the lead operator’s local content efforts in one of its latest reports to its shareholders and the Securities Exchange Council (SEC).

Hess, which has a 30 percent interest in the Stabroek Block, said that investments in the Guyanese economy has continued to increase. It said that the number of Guyanese nationals supporting project activities doubled in 2018 to more than 1,000.

Hess said too that ExxonMobil and its co-operators spent nearly US$60 million with more than 500 Guyanese vendors in 2018. In addition to this, Hess said more than 1500 Guyanese companies are registered with the Centre for Local Business Development, which was founded by ExxonMobil in 2017 with the mission of supporting local businesses to become globally competitive.

While Hess placed such vigor into defending “mediocre” local content efforts in Guyana, the company is doing much more for citizens in other jurisdictions.

Hess’ records show that it invests a great deal in education which has long term benefits that extend beyond the life-cycle of oil production projects.

Hess told the SEC that it continued its LEAP (Learn, Engage, Advance, Persevere) programme, which provides a range of services that help at-risk students in Houston’s Greater East End stay in school.

In 2018, the fifth year of a six-year US$6.4 million commitment, Hess said that it broadened LEAP’s scope to include more than 4,700 students at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

In North Dakota, Hess shared that it donated Hess toy trucks along with a science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum designed by Baylor College of Medicine’s Center for Educational Outreach to every public elementary school in the state.

Even in Malaysia, Hess is doing much for local content. It told the Securities Exchange Commission and its shareholders that it supported the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Programme, which places recent graduates from U.S. universities into Malaysian secondary schools to help students boost their confidence and improve their proficiency in English.

In 2018, Hess proudly told the SEC that the programme benefited approximately 6,000 Malaysian students.



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