WesternZagros develops its community investment program in Kurdistan in close conjunction with local government and other community leaders on our blocks. We will continue to strive to assist in the training and employment of the local population and include them in the decisions that impact their lives. We believe that hiring local nationals in accordance with local security and government requirements, and adhering to international best practices and industry quality standards sets the foundation for mutual success.
We place a high value on creating jobs for people within these communities. As at December 31, 2011, WesternZagros had 29 full-time employees on Canadian payroll and 342 full-time local national employees in Kurdistan. First priority for procurement and employment is provided at the local level. We procure a diverse range of goods and services from locally-owned businesses within and immediately adjacent to our operating area, hiring qualified locals as rig workers, security staff and for general maintenance.
Since our arrival in Kurdistan, WesternZagros has provided oil and gas industry training programs. We have trained local nationals as wellsite geologists and provided comprehensive industry training programs, including a three-week Petroleum Industry Regulatory Affairs Program in Calgary for participants from Kurdistan. This program facilitates industry discussions and idea exchanges on regulatory systems and the relationship in Canada between the regulator and oil and gas producing companies. Participants are invited to attend site visits at some of Alberta’s many oil and gas production locations. Development of new jobs for local employment initiatives during 2011 included the following:
Since 2005, we have provided training for over 250 participants from the Kurdistan Region, which will help to strengthen local regulatory capacity over time.