TOTAL and DAR: Oil Drilling Social Impact Baseline

The Council of Ministers awarded the oil drilling exploration and production licenses to the consortium composed of Total, ENI and JSC Novatek. Total E&P Liban – which was planning to start its drilling activities – and as per its internal requirements and to meet Lebanese regulations needed to launch a Social Baseline Study (SBS). The main objective was to gain a thorough understanding of the socio-economic context and human environment of the future site(s) before the drilling operations begin in 2019 and 2020. In 2018, Total commissioned Dar Group and InfoPro to conduct the study. To meet the study objectives, Dar Group and InfoPro recommended a multi-faceted methodology which entailed desk research, focus groups with fishermen and farmers, and key informant interviews with various stakeholders. The desk research segment helped provide an overview of the context against which the drilling will be conducted and to fine tune / identify the groups which might be directly or indirectly impacted by the project. While the focus groups which were conducted with 24 fishermen and farmers and 60 KII’s assisted in providing the baseline information requirements of the SBS,  improve understanding of local issues and ensure the communities concerned know that the information gathered will later be used to prepare impact mitigation measures, inform the stakeholders about the future project, and identify human rights issues that have not been assessed before / well documented previously, in addition to other issues deemed as crucial by the client.