Effective Engagement of Stakehold ers By Oil and Gas Companies A Case of The Stakeholder Relationship Ma nagement Tool in Kenya
TEPK opened its office in Nairobi in November 2012, to manage its oil exploration activities. TEPK is the operator of Block L22. As part of its mission, TEPK started consultations with stakeholders (in February 2013), prior to carrying out different studies related to its offshore operations. Missions were carried out both at the national and the county levels including Lamu, Kilifi and Tana River counties. For this engagement with stakeholders to be effective, TEPK employed the Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM+) Tool at the very beginning and immediately after the creation of the new exploration and production affiliate. This is a tool developed for Total and used throughout its operations (including upstream and downstream). The main objective of SRM+ is to compare the internal vision of stakeholders through internal multidisciplinary workshops, with stakeholder perceptions tested through interviews using a standard questionnaire. A gap analysis is carried out and a strategy developed. The tool also measures the degree of social exposure of the TEPK. While the tool has been deployed in numerous subsidiaries, this is the first time that the tool has been used so early in the E&P process. TEPK mapped out stakeholders according to priorities, identified contact persons on the ground, and translated communication documents in Kiswahili. Furthermore, the General Manager (GM) travelled personally to the different counties to meet people on the ground starting with the Government authorities including Governors, Senators, and Members of Parliament among others. Thus, opening great avenues and making it easier for the Social Affairs team to meet other stakeholders. Some challenges included: bad weather, poor roads and long distances, interesting stakeholders to meet with limited time, competition, conflicts and economic challenges. Lessons learnt, perceptions can be very different from realities; expected needs differ from actual needs. Integration of all stakeholders is imperative for acceptability.