Energy-rich countries increasingly expect opportunities for their local industry and labour to participate in oil and gas-related activities. Wherever we have an active presence, our aim is to contribute to local content in our operations by developing skills and opportunities.

Hiring and buying goods and services locally is an effective way of generating local content and contributing to development. It has a direct impact on the local economy, creates jobs, and builds and enhances local capacity and capabilities. We strive to continuously search for opportunities to work with our host country partners to develop sustainable local enterprises that meet our expectations and requirements.

Investing in local content helps us to mitigate risks, while enhancing the benefits to both our business and the societies in which we operate. Ultimately, we believe it helps to drive efficiency, reduce costs and improve project execution.

Building local content worldwide

We aim to recruit locally, offer a safe working environment to all of our employees and provide attractive training opportunities that build local capacity and skills. In non-OECD countries in particular, we are working to achieve a higher proportion of national staff, including at management level.

Throughout the Statoil group, we have an ambition to increase the proportion of non-Norwegians. For our workforce as a whole, and among staff in management positions, this proportion was 18 % in 2011. The proportion of non-Norwegians among new hires was 42% in 2011. Statoil Fuel & Retail, whose workforce is largely non-Norwegian, is not included in these figures

We support training and competence-building in close dialogue with relevant authorities and local partners in many countries, including Brazil, Canada, Nigeria and Russia. In Angola, we are helping the Ministry of Education to build a safety centre and HSE training programme at the Institute for the Petroleum Industry (Instituto Nacional de Petróleos). Our contribution is focused on delivering training equipment and advising teachers on HSE management and risk assessment.

Local procurement and supplier development globally

In general, we aim to promote local sourcing and look for opportunities to support sustainable and competitive enterprises.

For example, in support of our offshore operations in eastern Canada, we are endeavouring to operationalise the principle that first consideration should be given to local personnel and businesses and to goods manufactured in Newfoundland and Labrador, where such goods and services are competitive in terms of fair market price, quality, and delivery. We monitor and report on these activities annually in order to meet our regulatory responsibilities. While this is done in part to meet local requirements, we will continue to demonstrate our commitment to local value creation and the sharing of benefits in the communities in which we operate.

Local procurement

We are also making efforts to increase local purchase of goods and services in our operations in non-OECD countries. In 2011, we spent an estimated NOK 9.8 billion on goods and services from companies based in non-OECD countries, up from NOK 4 billion in the previous year.

To achieve our goal of increasing local procurement, we support capacity-building initiatives and invest in local enterprises - including in Brazil, Nigeria and north-west Russia - in order to provide them with the skills and expertise, standards and certifications they need to compete successfully and work in the oil and gas industry.

Building local content in Norway

We have a long tradition in Norway of contributing to local industrial development and employment generation in support of our operations. A selection of current initiatives that continue this tradition is described below.

We support and have ownership interests in industrial parks and incubators that aim to support the development of competent local suppliers. Over the last decade, we have supported the development of the construction sector in northern Norway, particularly subcontractors in relation to possible infrastructure and oil and gas projects in north-west Russia.

The LOOP programme is Statoil's technology development programme. Statoil's contribution to a project may include financial support, project supervision and control, access to pilot testing, technical expertise and idea tuning, networks, access to third-party capital, and business insight and general advice. The technologies can range from small improvements to game-changing inventions. We initiated 11 LOOP projects and three pre-studies in 2011. In 2010 we initiated five projects. Since the programme started in 1990, 259 projects have been supported and the total grants from Statoil and other interested parties amount to more than NOK 1 billion.

Education and training initiatives

We are contributing to education and training in oil and gas disciplines through our apprenticeship programme, which provides students with practical, on-the-job training at our sites and operating locations. Statoil took on 177 apprentices in 2011, including 53 new apprentices from Norway's three northernmost counties.

Through our Academia Programme we support research and competence-building at Norwegian universities and research institutes. We have bilateral agreements with eight universities and institutions in Norway, and we cooperate with leading international universities.

Attracting the right talents to our industry includes inspiring young people to focus on science and technology. To support this effort, we contribute to initiatives that encourage science education through regional science centres and "Newton Rooms" that communicate science to the public and inspire young people to choose a science education.