[West-Sahara] Fugro

fwillems op antenna.nl fwillems op antenna.nl
Wo Dec 25 12:42:10 CET 2019

Fugro is een Nederlands bedrijf dat gegevens over bodemschatten op aarde 
verzamelt en interpreteert.
Fugro heeft in het recente verleden als onderaannemer van Kerr-McGee 
onderzoek verricht naar de aanwezigheid van olie in West-Sahara. In 2004 
heeft het bedrijf aangekondigd in de toekomst geen activiteiten in 
West-Sahara meer te zullen ondernemen zonder eerst het internationale 
netwerk Western Sahara Resource Watch te raadplegen over de heersende 
Maar nu is gebleken dat op dit moment het onderzoeksschip Fugro Gauss 
(IMO: 7824883)
voor de kust van Dakhla actief is.
Dat is voor WSRW reden voor het sturen van een brief aan het bedrijf.

To: Fugro NV  Veurse Achterweg 10 Leidschendam, 2264 SG Netherlands

To the attention of Mr Mark Heine
Chief Executive Officer of Fugro NV
M.Heine op fugro.com . CC: m.langerak op fugro.com

Brussels/Amsterdam   24 December 2019

Regarding call of Fugro Supporter in occupied Western Sahara

Dear Mr Heine,
Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) is privileged to write to you.

Our organization has observed that the vessel Fugro Supporter docked at 
the port of Dakhla,
occupied Western Sahara, on 9 November in the morning. On 11 November, 
it left the port, and seemingly turned off its AIS transponder. On 13 
November, the vessel reappeared northwest of Dakhla. Later it went in to 
Mauritanian waters.

We would like to point out the chronology of our correspondence:

On 30 July 2004, during a meeting at your headquarters with then CEO and 
President, Gert-Jan Kramer, and CFO André Jonkman, we were told that 
none of your subsidiaries would engage in any work in Western Sahara in 
the future without first hearing with the mother firm. In addition, we 
were told that no further contracts would be considered in Western 
Sahara without first carrying out a thorough ethical and legal analysis. 
Your company’s statement clearly indicated that Fugro NV was not going 
to carry out operations again in Western Sahara.

On 6 June 2006, in a letter to our Dutch sister organisation, your 
company stated that Fugro NV “does not intend to do [activities in 
Western Sahara] for the moment”.

In a letter on 23 April 2010 to the National Contact Point of the OECD 
Guidelines, situated under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 
your subsidiary Fugro-Geoteam, stated that it “has decided to abstain 
from any further involvement in Western Sahara until the political 
situation has been resolved".
The response led the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara to 
withdraw an already
submitted complaint to the OECD National Contact Point in Norway.

On 4 May 2010, Fugro’s Company Secretary Mr. W.G.M.Mulders declared that 
the firm will not
engage in further operations in Western Sahara. “Please be informed that 
Fugro N.V. is aware of, and endorses, the letter sent by Fugro-Geoteam 
AS dated 23 April 2010 to the Norwegian contact point for OECD”. It 
declares that the Western Sahara policy applies to all companies in the 
group. By www.wsrw.orgdeclaring that, the Norwegian organization did not 
proceed with a similar OECD complaint against Fugro NV.

In a meeting with your company’s own shareholders in 2012, Fugro NV’s 
then CEO Arnold
Steenbakker elaborated on this decision in the following way: "The 
company is often involved in oil and gas exploitation in areas where the 
local population has not been consulted. For that reason, the company 
has for instance stopped its involvement in Western Sahara”.

This taken into account, WSRW would appreciate answers to the following 
four questions:
1. Does Fugro remain committed to its promise of 4 May 2010 that it will 
not undertake any
further activities onshore of offshore Western Sahara?
2. Can Fugro confirm that no seismic studies acquisition was made during 
the time the vessel transited through Western Sahara’s waters?
3. What was the purpose of Fugro Supporter's call into the port of 
4. Was any money paid, including harbour fees, to the Moroccan 
government or institutions
relating to the stay in the port of Dakhla?

The grave incident of Fugro’s large seismic exploration study offshore 
Western Sahara 2009 took place despite promises in 2004. That 2009 study 
was necessary for Morocco’s first and only oil drilling operation 
offshore Western Sahara. We found Fugro’s involvement deeply 
regrettable. We thought Fugro had learned from that episode, 
particularly in view of your clear letter in 2010 to “has decided to 
abstain from any further involvement in Western Sahara“ and of 
Steenbakker’s statement to your owners in 2012.

If Fugro has changed position on Western Sahara, WSRW will proceed with 
a complaint vis-ŕ-vis the National Contact Point in the Netherlands for 
violation of OECD Guidelines for Multinational Companies, as we already 
informed about in our letter to you on 29 April 2010.

Notice also the substantive development that has taken place in Western 
Sahara since the OECD complaint against your Norwegian subsidiary 
Fugro-Geoteam was made in 2010. Three decisions in the EU Court of 
Justice of the EU have since then confirmed the Saharawi people’s right 
to self-determination. This human right extends to the Saharawi people’s 
right to their natural resources.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Sara Eyckmans
Coordinator, Western Sahara Resource Watch
coordinator op wsrw.org

Frank Willems
Stichting Zelfbeschikking West-Sahara
nl op wsrw.org

Meer informatie over de West-Sahara maillijst