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Cultural heritage and diversity

At ExxonMobil, our respect for the cultural heritage and customs of local communities carries into our business practices, where we leverage specific studies to deepen the knowledge among our workforce.

We incorporate considerations such as cultural, spiritual or sacred heritage sites and areas; biodiversity conservation; traditional knowledge; and sustainable resource management into project planning, design, execution and ongoing operations. We use an established cultural heritage identification process prior to the start of work in an area and identify potential sites of cultural significance through our community stakeholder engagement process. Working with our contractors, we take a careful approach to preserving cultural sites and artifacts.

For example, early consultation with the local communities near our Banyu Urip project in Indonesia revealed there were a number of sendangs, or water springs, that would be impacted by the project development. Local communities use sendangs to meet a variety of their water-related needs and consider them to be holy places. Working together with the communities, we hosted appropriate ceremonies to relocate the spirits from one sendang to another sendang.

In regards to people’s safety and ExxonMobil Cepu Limited’s (EMCL) commitment to preserve local wisdom, EMCL agreed to reconstruct the sendangs that were inside the project perimeter to the spacious Sendang Legung. We appreciate EMCL’s effort to relocate the sendangs and renovate Sendang Legung.

Setyo Yuliono, head of Gayam subdistrict, Bojonegoro, Indonesia

As another example, in 2013 our exploration for unconventional gas resources in western Argentina led to the discovery of significant dinosaur fossils during access-road construction. The fossils were from a herd of Titanosaurus Sauropods and a cranium from a Theropod – one of only two Theropods found in the area in the past 100 years. We immediately stopped work and diverted our operations to ensure the integrity of the discovery site. ExxonMobil provided materials and services to a team of four paleontologists, two assistants and one photographer. The team is finishing the cleaning of the fossils and comparing them with other fossils in nearby museums.

The findings during the two excavations have been extraordinary. We found two samples of the Theropod species, a completely articulated Titanosaur, including the cranium, and various fossils of freshwater turtles, fish and dinosaur eggs. These results demonstrate the richness of this region that will allow further studies and understanding of the formation. We want to thank ExxonMobil for their continuous support and contribution to the preservation of the area.”

Leonardo Filippi, director of the Museum Argentino Urquiza of Rincon de los Sauces and lead paleontologist of the project

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