Specific instance of SOCO
A specific instance was filed to the British NCP by WWF International against SOCO International in October 2013.
An oil extraction project was planned on the world heritage site of Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to the complainant, the planned activity was contrary to international law and local regulations and could have been detrimental to the local environment and population. The British NCP considered the specific instance suitable for further investigation and offered assistance in the form of mediation to resolve the conflict.
Both parties reached an agreement with the help of an external mediator on 11 June 2014, in which SOCO undertook the withdrawal of its presence from the national park within 30 days and agreed not to take any action there, unless both UNESCO and Congolese government stipulate that its activity is not incompatible with the world heritage status. SOCO also promised to act accordingly in other world heritage sites in the future.