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Economy and local community
In 2012, our production from oil sands represented around 4% of our total oil and gas production. The project has created thousands of jobs and brings economic benefits. We also work closely with local communities to understand their concerns about the project and to tackle them together.
We directly employ 2,000 staff at our oil sands operation, with thousands more jobs generated in areas such as transport, construction and supplies. From 2005-2012 we invested over $1.25 billion with aboriginal contractors –an important demonstration of the efforts we have made to see benefits flow to communities in the form of education, training and employment. The community of Fort McMurray near our Muskeg River Mine has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.
We pay royalties and taxes from our oil sands business to national, regional and local governments in Canada. These funds are helping, for example, to expand healthcare, education and roads.
Communities around our oil sands operations
Shell has a long-term interest in the growth and well being of communities in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and Industrial Heartland Area, where we have our oil sands operations.
We consult with landowners, residents and local groups to identify their concerns and work towards solutions. To help with this we belong to several local and industry organisations including:
We built Albian Village to house 2,500 workers near our Jackpine Mine.
To ease pressure on local housing and transport services we built our own accommodation facility near our Jackpine Mine, 75km (46 miles) north of Fort McMurray, to house 2,500 workers.
We also built an airstrip and we run shuttle buses to transport workers, equipment and supplies to our site.
We have invested close to CDN $10M with the local communities in the areas around our oil sands operations since we started up in 2003. These extra investments benefit around 200 organisations, including:
- MacDonald Island Park – Shell contributed $2.5 million to construct a stadium and shared space centre.
- Northern Alberta Institute of Technology – we contributed CDN$2.5 million for new facilities and over CDN$500,000 in student scholarships and bursaries.
- Northern Lights Health Region – Shell contributed $1.2 million to the health region’s inner city homeless population of Fort McMurray heath improvement project.