SOCO’s PRESS STATEMENT
Statement on the Helicopter Incident/Virunga National Park on 15th June 2012
“SOCO International PLC is aware of the situation that took place yesterday (15th June) in Nyakakoma, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
We would like to make it very clear that no employees or associates were involved and we are in no way responsible for the reported incident surrounding a routine, planned and fully authorised helicopter flight. The ‘Save Virunga website’ statement contained a series of inaccuracies and did not include the fact that the helicopter flight had departed approximately 45 minutes before the reported incident took place.
Further more comments on the Save Virunga website we believe are designed to be inflammatory and part of a dedicated campaign of spreading misleading information to link SOCO International PLC to negative environmental stories concerning the Virunga National Park.
SOCO International PLC is a responsible company that operates with total transparency and in accordance with the laws of each country it operates in.
In the DRC, SOCO International PLC operates within the regulations stipulated by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with which it has positive relations.”
Save Virunga provides a repository for all news related to oil exploration. The website is part of a dedicated campaign to protect the Virunga National Park from oil exploration and exploitation.
International precedents, notably the Niger Delta, show that oil development in any area, let alone a designated National Park and World Heritage Site, do not go together with environmental and conservation goals.
Save Virunga lets the facts speak for themselves, promotes discussion and assists in developing broad public understanding of key environmental, human rights and security threats in the Virunga region.
Information is provided by and verified with local stakeholders, including international and national NGOs, co-workers, local and national media stations.
We welcome and respect the views of other stakeholders.