One of the key pillars of SOCO’s CSR strategy is to support the local communities in which we operate and to foster capacity building within the host nation.

We understand that our success is reliant upon building strong relationships and being welcomed as a responsible partner in our host communities. This means building local capacity during the exploration or development phases of a project to ensure a positive imprint and legacy and investing in social projects for the long-term benefit of local communities. All our licence agreements include a high degree of local content, which commits us to hire locally where possible and provide training to develop new skills. This is exemplified through our jointly operated projects in Vietnam which have 120 local staff personnel out of 127 in total. A total of 145 training sessions were arranged for our staff. In 2017, SOCO Vietnam hired two local members of staff to support our Group Exploration Manager in the Ho Chi Minh City office.

The 2017 training programme included training for the offshore production team on issues such as Personal Protective Equipment, permit to work & confined space entry procedures, behavioural safety, etc. Emergency response table-top exercises for both onshore and offshore worksites were also organised.


SOCO’s primary policies setting out its commitment to uphold human rights, including those of indigenous peoples, throughout its business are the:

  • The SOCO Code
  • Human Rights Policy
  • Social Responsibility Policy
  • Security Policy

A Human Rights Policy was officially incorporated in the SOCO HSES MS in 2016 and was updated at the end of 2017 to explicitly demonstrate our commitment to diversity and inclusivity, as mentioned above. It is displayed in all our offices and human right issues are now routinely considered as part of the general management of HSES issues.

For example, SOCO is committed to honour and respect the indigenous rights of people within our host communities. Prior to entering a new licence, a new venture is assessed for the risk of the project having an impact on indigenous rights, and where a risk is found to exist, the SOCO HSES MS requires and facilitates implementation of policy and procedure that uphold and build upon our stated commitments.

2017 outcomes

No grievances were received and there were no reported violations of our Social Responsibility, Human Rights or Security Policies in 2017. Throughout the year, our operated and joint operated projects were all offshore projects and accordingly the risk of a potential impact on indigenous rights was assessed as low. In preparation for operations under the new PSC over Blocks 125 & 126, a Human Rights Action Plan has been commissioned to manage human rights risk during activities related to these Blocks. The Plan will be developed in 2018, building on the findings of the preliminary assessment of potential Environmental and Social Governance Risks conducted in 2016. In recognition that the risks to human rights may change as business operations and operating context evolve, the Plan will be updated on a regular basis.


SOCO’s social investment in our host countries is integral to our economic investment and built into the commitments we make under our respective licences. The selection process for our social investment projects is driven both by the category of project and consideration of the local requirements of the country of operation given the local regulatory context and the degree of influence we have in our projects. We have prioritised where applicable the support of projects which meet our objectives and this commitment extends across all the countries in which we have operations. 2017 outcomes

We began our local community projects in Congo (Brazzaville) after acquiring the offshore Marine XI licence 10 years ago. Our priorities began with projects related to safe drinking water, community health and education. SOCO continually thrives to select and finance social projects which are sustainable and will outlast the company’s involvement in the project. Strategic management of social investments prevents conflicts over the distribution of these investments and helps to enhance the positive impact of its investments by enabling them to reach their full potential. In order to get an adequate understanding of the local conditions and risks associated with possible projects, SOCO actively liaises with relevant stakeholders, such as local communities, charities and Congolese authorities; in particular the Ministry of Hydrocarbons who sanctions the projects chosen.

SOCO is constantly learning from past social investments to draw lessons and take these into account when selecting future projects. In 2017, our largest investment in Congo (Brazzaville) was the financing of the Viet Bridge, in Mvoumvou, of which we supervised the execution. In Vietnam, community projects are selected by HLHVJOC based on recommendations from national government and PetroVietnam. During 2017, the HLHVJOC Charitable Donation programme focused on projects assisting infrastructure development, investing in healthcare, education, and disaster relief for flood victims. SOCO’s financial commitment is set out under the licence terms. In 2017, the HLHVJOC charitable donation program, into which SOCO contributes, spent approximately $200,000 on a number of causes. The financial support for Minh Anh and Anh Dao Specialised Education Centres for autistic children in the Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces respectively accounted for more than half of that budget.


SOCO is aware of attempts to impersonate the company on social media. SOCO does not have a Facebook page.