Due Diligence Assessment
(Environmental and Social)

Our Experience includes:

Environmental and Social Due Diligence Assessment of Two Oil Exploration Blocks, Peru
Acorn International led an environmental and social due diligence assessment for an international oil and gas company considering investing in two oil exploration blocks in Peru held by another company. Main issues of concern included indigenous people, possibly with some living in voluntary isolation, protected areas including a proposed IUCN biosphere reserve, tropical forest with high biodiversity, the presence of coca growers and illegal loggers, a strong national, changing government structure and regulations, and both local and international NGO pressure against developing oil and gas reserves in the area.

Our team performed a rapid (5-day), high level Health, Environmental, Safety and Social Screening to identify risks and issues that would need to be considered when making initial investment decisions. Once the company decided to pursue discussions with the field operator and government officials, Acorn International was asked to design and lead an in-depth due diligence assessment of potential environmental and social risks. Our work involved working with the target oil and gas company, developing a checklist and protocol of questions to be addressed in the assessment, performing advance research, conducting interviews in Lima with multiple governmental agencies and others, analyzing results, and preparing a report of findings. Our team worked with various groups within the client oil and gas company to vet the report and integrate their comments into a final report. Our analysis included consideration of legal, operational and reputation liabilities that would need to be faced by the company if the investment were to proceed.

Environmental and Social Due Diligence Assessment for a Chlor-Alkali Plant in Trinidad and Tobago
Acorn International and its in-country partner in Trinidad and Tobago performed an Environmental and Social Due Diligence Assessment for a proposed chlor-alkali plant in Trinidad. The assessment was performed under World Bank independent review requirements and under contract to an international Equator Principle bank in cooperation with the InterAmerican Development Bank (IADB) and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Our work required a comprehensive review of the project EIA, risk assessment and related plans to determine compliance with applicable standards and requirements of the national government, World Bank/International Finance Corporation, Equator Principles, IADB, OPIC, and other international institutions. Acorn International's report provided extensive analysis of environmental, public health and safety, and social impacts, proposed additional controls and mitigation measures where needed to meet the international standards, and presented a detailed action plan for the proponent and Lenders to follow in supporting investment decisions

Screening for Regulatory Framework and Environmental, Health, Safety and Social Conditions, Various Countries
Acorn International has performed rapid screenings to identify existing conditions, concerns and regulatory framework for potential oil and gas exploration activities in various countries around the world. The work includes identification of environmental and social sensitivities, such as protected areas, threatened, endangered and endemic species, indigenous populations and shipwrecks. We also review the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process in each country and identify key agencies involved in the EIA process for oil and gas exploration.

Screenings have been completed for: Angola, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guyana, Guatemala, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Malaysia, Mozambique, Namibia, Peru, the Philippines, The Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

Environmental and Facility Integrity Due Diligence Assessment for a Major International Utility
Acorn International performed the operations integrity portion of a due diligence assessment for a major international utility as part of an integrated team representing financial interests. Our work looked at operations integrity for transportation and storage assets to evaluate potential liabilities associated with the operation of these assets and compliance with applicable regulations. Liability estimates were quantified based on our experience with industry standards for operations integrity.

Acorn International has developed and applies due diligence assessment protocols designed to facilitate consistently world-class assessment and reporting of liabilities for industrial properties worldwide.

Gas Pipeline Construction Liability Assessment, U.S.
Acorn International was called on to serve as an expert witness to evaluate environmental liabilities associated with a pipeline construction project in the United States. Our assessment focused on environmental management practices and systems that were applied to the project.

Audit of Remediation Activities for Joint Liabilities
Acorn International participated in an audit for a major international oil and gas company. The audit was focused on evaluating another operator’s activities associated with remediating joint exploration and production liabilities in a former oil field. The audit consisted of review of lease maps and agreements and project records as well as interviews with company staff. The purpose of the audit was to ensure that the operator appropriately distinguished their remediation activities and records associated with the joint liabilities from those of their non-joint liabilities.

Environmental Liability and Reputational Risk Management, U.S.
While working for a major oil and gas company, Acorn International’s staff managed a program to identify, assess and remove former oil sumps in the Santa Maria Valley in California. Acorn International’s staff managed a team of internal and external resources and consultants to identify potential sump locations through aerial photographs, communicate with potentially impacted landowners, complete non-invasive soil sampling to delineate oil-impacted soil, purchase properties found to be impacted, and excavate the sump materials. The program included an intensive stakeholder engagement program to address concerns of impacted homeowners, neighbors, interest groups, city and county officials and company business units with active operations in the area. Efforts included a joint oil company initiative to encourage the use of risk-based standards to facilitate regulatory closure and media briefings to encourage the use of factual information in local news stories.

Social and Environmental Performance Assessment for BP, Colombia
Acorn International’s President led a social impact and reputation assessment for British Petroleum’s E&P assets in Colombia following high-profile allegations of social injustices to local residents by security personnel contracted by BP. Using World Bank and other internationally-accepted guidelines, the team visited facilities, interviewed operators, country managers, and corporate executives within BP, met with local and national government officials, and participated in local, national, and international community forums to understand stakeholder concerns. We then prepared a report of findings and recommendations for actions BP should take to improve its social performance and communication in Colombia. Following the success of the work in Colombia, BP asked Acorn’s President to lead similar investigations of their businesses in Venezuela and Russia.