Russian oil workers celebrated their professional holiday in September. Oil and Gas Industry Workers day was established 55 years ago in the USSR as a sign of appreciation for the specialists successfully satisfied both the needs of home and active front lines in WW2 times and made a significant contribution in post-war reconstruction. People continue to be the main asset for oil companies in Russia and abroad.
“Russian oil and gas industry is renowned worldwide for its high professionalism and dedication”, - OPEC’s Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo noted in his letter to the Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Alexander Novak in honor of the day of workers of the oil and gas industry. “Oil workers are unsung heroes whose tireless efforts enable OPEC and our outside partners to make informed decisions. We must never take their work for granted,” – he added.
According to International Labor Organization reports, the world of work is currently undergoing profound changes. Digitalization, changing demographics and a transition to a green economy are setting up the new trends – automation and robotics that reduce the need for labor, herewith the ever raising competence requirements for the current personnel. Given this, each professional oil worker – in a very real sense – worths his weight in gold by being able to deliver high performance in current changing conditions.
ILO highlighted three main goals to support oil workers and other working men around the globe: increasing investment in people’s skills, strengthening labor guarantees and expanding social dialogue.
In the words of Anatoly Moskalenko, Vice President for Human Resources Management and Social Policy of PJSC LUKOIL, corporate programs fully comply with ILO’s vision: “Today, the oil and gas sector is facing new challenges that can significantly change professional areas of activity and, therefore, specifics of HR management and social work. In 2019 the Company launched a personnel performance and efficiency management system, based on the principles of modern leadership philosophy.” The new approach places a greater emphasis on the individual as the key driver behind achievement of the Company’s strategic goals.
PJSC LUKOIL President Vagit Alekperov has decided to begin implementing leadership and engagement tools to facilitate a reliable and sustainable future for LUKOIL. Forward-looking changes are designed to ensure that the Company maintains its leading position in the industry.
This will require changes in the system used to make decisions, people management, training, motivation, and overall performance and efficiency assessments. Goal management, effective and inspiring interaction between managers and employees, constant feedback, and a modern system of productivity and performance management in a unified digital environment.
The first step has been to elaborate the project groups in the Exploration and Production business segment. This group of employees ensures that effective solutions are found to engineering and technical problems, while achieving operational and investment efficiency when implementing major and high-priority projects, both in Russia and abroad with Company’s and global experience and best practices are taken into account. This new approach will be further distributed to the corporate vertical system, backed by the constantly renewing regulatory framework.
LUKOIL employed over 105 thousand people, 41% female, which are more than 26% of managerial personnel. Company applies uniform principles for the talent development and respects personnel’s wish to achieve work-life balance. In LUKOIL Group entities parental leave is granted to both women and men.
Company endeavors the implementation of harmonized standards to working with our employees in all countries and regions where we operate, taking into account local specifics and features. LUKOIL’s basic approach is to employ the best professionals, while in foreign countries company strives to employ as many local professionals as possible, and provide them with employee training where necessary.
Company strives to maintain an attractive employee remuneration system to facilitate social stability and to enhance the quality of life of our employees and their families. In 2019, the average salary in LUKOIL Group’s Russian entities in significant regions of operation was at least 1.5 times higher than the average salary in the same regions. Voluntary health insurance programs cover over 90% of employees at Russian entities, over 1.4 thousand employees participate in the housing program.
Constant and focused talent development programs aimed at full professional fulfillment, while maintaining the social guarantees, helps LUKOIL to keep employee turnover at insignificant 7.5%.
New approach towards corporate policies, compliant with the actual social needs and current technological development level, ongoing partnership with ILO allow LUKOIL to build up the solutions that would become referential either for Russian oil market and global business society.
Over 40 arrested in biggest-ever crackdown against drug ring smuggling cocaine from Brazil into Europe
In the early hours of the morning (27 November), more than a thousand police officers with the support of Europol carried out co-ordinated raids against the members of this highly professional criminal syndicate. Some 180 house searches were executed, resulting in the arrest of 45 suspects.
The investigation uncovered that this drug trafficking network was responsible for the annual importation of at least 45 tonnes of cocaine into the main European seaports, with profits exceeding €100 million over the course of 6 months.
This international sting, led by the Portuguese, Belgian and Brazilian authorities, was carried out simultaneously by agencies from three different continents, with coordination efforts facilitated by Europol:
- Europe: Portuguese Judicial Police (Polícia Judiciária), Belgian Federal Judicial Police (Federale Gerechtelijke Politie, Police Judiciaire Fédérale), Spanish National Police (Policia Nacional), Dutch Police (Politie) and the Romanian Police (Poliția Română)
- South America: Brazilian Federal Police (Policia Federal)
- Middle East: Dubai Police Force and Dubai State Security
Results in brief
- 45 arrests in Brazil (38), Belgium (4), Spain (1) and Dubai (2).
- 179 house searches.
- Over €12m in cash seized in Portugal, €300,000 in cash seized in Belgium and over R$1m and US$169,000 in cash seized in Brazil.
- 70 luxury vehicles seized in Brazil, Belgium and Spain and 37 aircrafts seized in Brazil.
- 163 houses seized in Brazil worth in excess of R$132m, two houses seized in Spain worth €4m, and two apartments seized in Portugal worth €2.5m.
- Financial assets of 10 individuals frozen in Spain.
In the framework of intelligence activities underway with its operational counterparts, Europol developed reliable intelligence concerning the international drug trafficking and money laundering activities of a Brazilian organized crime network operating in several EU countries.
The criminal syndicate had direct contact with drug cartels in Brazil and other South American source countries who were responsible for the preparation and the shipments of cocaine in maritime containers bound to major European seaports.
The scale of cocaine importation from Brazil to Europe under their control and command is massive and over 52 tonnes of cocaine were seized by law enforcement over the course of the investigation.
In April 2020, Europol brought together the involved countries who have since been working closely together to establish a joint strategy to bring down the whole network. The main targets were identified on either sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
Since then, Europol has provided continuous intelligence development and analysis to support the field investigators. During the action day, a total of 8 of its officers were deployed on-the-ground in Portugal, Belgium and Brazil to assist there the national authorities, ensuring swift analysis of new data as it was being collected during the action and adjusting the strategy as required.
Commenting on this operation, Europol’s Deputy Director Wil van Gemert said: "This operation highlights the complex structure and vast reach of Brazilian organized crime groups in Europe. The scale of the challenge faced today by police worldwide calls for a coordinated approach to tackle the drug trade across continents. The commitment of our partner countries to work via Europol underpinned the success of this operation and serves as a continued global call to action."
Navalny calls on Europe to follow the money
The European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee held an exchange of views with representatives of the Russian political opposition and NGOs on the current political and socio-economic situation in Russia.
Among the speakers was Alexei Navalny, who has recently recovered from being poisoned with a nerve agent similar to the one used in the Salisbury attack targeted at Sergei Skirpal and his daughter.
Navalny called on Europe to adopt a new strategy towards Russia, that meets the new developments in Russian state leadership. He said that the forthcoming elections for the State Duma would be an absolutely crucial event and that everyone should be able to participate. If opposition politicians are not allowed to participate he asked the European Parliament and every European politician not to recognize the outcome.
Navalny told MEPs that it was not enough to sanction those responsible for carrying out his poisoning and that there was little sense in sanctioning those who didn’t travel a lot or who didn’t own assets in Europe. Instead, he said the main question that should be asked is who gained financially from Putin’s regime. Navalny pointed to the oligarchs, not just the old ones, but the new ones in Putin’s inner circle, with name-checks for Usmanov and Roman Abramovich. He said that these sanctions would be warmly welcomed by most Russians.
On the various decisions of the European Court of Human Rights that have been ignored by the Russian judiciary, Navalny said it would be very easy to sanction them to prevent them from traveling to Europe and it would be very effective.
Commission approves German scheme to compensate accommodation providers in the field of child and youth education for damages suffered due to the coronavirus outbreak
The European Commission approved, under EU state aid rules, a German scheme to compensate accommodation providers for child and youth education for the loss of revenue caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The public support will take the form of direct grants. The scheme will compensate up to 60% of the loss of revenues incurred by eligible beneficiaries in the period between the beginning of the lockdown (which started on different dates across the regional states) and 31 July 2020 when their accommodation facilities had to be closed due to the restrictive measures implemented in Germany.
When calculating the loss of revenue, any reductions in costs resulting from income generated during the lockdown and any possible financial aid granted or actually paid out by the state (and in particular granted under scheme SA.58464) or third parties to cope with the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak will be deducted. At the central government level, facilities eligible to apply will have at their disposal a budget of up to €75 million.
However, these funds are not earmarked exclusively for this scheme. In addition, regional authorities (at Länder or local level) may also make use of this scheme from the local budgets. In any event, the scheme ensures that the same eligible costs cannot be compensated twice by different administrative levels. The Commission assessed the measure under Article 107(2)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which enables the Commission to approve state aid measures granted by member states to compensate specific companies or specific sectors for the damages caused by exceptional occurrences, such as the coronavirus outbreak.
The Commission found that the German scheme will compensate damages that are directly linked to the coronavirus outbreak. It also found that the measure is proportionate, as the envisaged compensation does not exceed what is necessary to make good the damages. The Commission therefore concluded that the scheme is in line with EU state aid rules.
More information on actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.59228 in the state aid register on the Commission's competition website.