The manner in which we develop and execute projects is of vital importance in relation to ensuring sustainability in the planning, construction, operation and decommissioning phases. Our management system prescribes impact assessments as a tool for achieving such sustainability.

Our focus in Statoil is on integrated impact assessments, addressing not only the environmental impact of our operations, but also our projects' social, health, safety and security-related impacts. Furthermore, understanding the consequences that such impacts may have on peoples' entitlements and human rights is also increasingly recognised as an important element in the impact assessment process.

Reflecting this emphasis, in 2009 we published and began implementation of a new set of guidelines for impact assessment in the company in order to ensure an integrated approach to impact management. The guidelines are based on the International Finance Corporation's (IFC) Social and Environmental Performance Standards, which are considered to be an international benchmark and best practice for sustainable project management. The guidelines apply to all relevant projects, including all exploration, project development, and major modification and abandonment activities.