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At Sound, we are fortunate to have a talented and diverse team in-country. As part of our ESG ambitions, we work with local regulators and governments to ensure that we impart our knowledge and experience onto the community. To that end, Sound Energy provides financial and technical support for two PhD students as part of the cooperation agreement signed between Sound Energy and Mohammed First University of Oujda. The main objectives of this PhD programme are to develop national energy industry competence and increase engagement between Moroccan academic expertise and industry professionals in an effort to combine knowledge on the geology of the Tendrara basin. The two PhD students are also benefitting from a broad training programme including wireline log interpretation and formation evaluation, petroleum geochemistry, drilling operations and seismic acquisition, processing and interpretation.
Furthermore, Sound has an extensive training budget and commitment to a percentage of operational spend for ongoing training both in our office in Rabat and on-site at our operations. In 2023 for example we sponsored the training of an employee into a HSSE role.
Sound Energy has been committed to the development of the local community via substantial investment over the past 15 years. We have worked with remote communities far from infrastructure through employment, training and engagement with local leaders. To date, we have hired more than 70 people in Eastern Morocco and, as our projects continue to advance, more will surely be added to this total. We have also provided infrastructure including a mobile telephone mast, a water well, investment in a new maternity section for the local health centre, investment in a school building and an on-site office with accommodation for employees that work and live year-round at our operational hub.
We have also worked on various infrastructure projects including building and improving access roads near to site.