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Political risks management in petroleum industry from international standards perspective

DOI 10.18127/j20700814-201905-09

Keywords:

I.R. Safin – Head of Operations Supervision, Branch Office of Gazprom International (Saint Petersburg)
E-mail: isafin@yandex.ru


The author considers approaches towards management of political risks in petroleum projects from perspective of ISO 9001 and ISO 31000 standards. Political risks are of high importance for any company operating internationally, specifically in petroleum industry (long-term projects with high investments). ISO standards are based on involvement of all stakeholders and establishment of efficient communication channels. Political risks are part of strategic management and shall involve top decision-makers and company’s owners. External and internal context shall be accurately defined. The author emphasizes that inability of organization to timely and efficiently respond to the negative scenarios can be a source of risk itself. Risks identification shall be made at the very beginning, prior to the country-entry decision. Typical political risks such as political system stability, changes in legislation, opposition forces activity, terrorist threat, etc. shall be analyzed and evaluated, including consultations with the embassy, other companies operating in the country of interest. Once assessed from likelihood, consequences, complexity and other factors perspective and deemed acceptable, appropriate risk treatment measures shall be developed. Proposed actions shall be achievable and reasonable, respective resources shall be allocated. Based on PDCA cycle, risks management shall include not only plan and do stages but also check and act. Risk treatment measures shall be regularly monitored and reviewed, appropriate changes to be introduced if necessary. The author gives an example of a Russian company operating in one of the African countries and shares its experience in political risks management. The key focal areas in risk management are described in conclusion.

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May 29, 2020

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