Safety and Environment

Safety First

Safety is paramount in this industry and is ingrained in all that we do. The oil and natural gas industry regularly educates and trains all employees and contractors in the area of safety and health, whether in the office or out in the field. Industry best practices and process safety improvements lead to fewer onsite incidents and injuries. With mandatory personal protection equipment, extensive safety protocols, vehicle safety training, and incident management drills, our industry is dedicated to keeping workers and the communities where we live and operate, safe.

Our companies empower their workforce to practice the highest degrees of caution and safety in a number of ways. All employees hold the power to stop work immediately, no matter their level of authority or seniority, to communicate safety concerns with colleagues. Only when issues have been addressed can work begin again.

Just as our industry holds our employees to the highest safety standards, we expect the same compliance from our contractors, who play a valuable role in our operations. Employees and contractors are trained and re-trained, and are observed closely to guarantee the highest performance standards. The industry constantly re-evaluates its health, safety and environment plans, accumulates and shares best practices.

Committed to Protecting the Environment: Reduced Emissions and Air Quality

Note: CO2 emissions estimate through 2015 (Source: 2015 US Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report)
Gross Domestic Product: Bureau of Economic Analysis
Vehicle Miles Traveled: Federal Highway Administration
Population: Census Bureau
Energy Consumption: Dept. of Energy, Energy Information Administration
Aggregate Emissions: EPA’s Air Pollutant Emissions Trends Data

Our industry is dedicated to developing affordable energy while continuing to reduce our emissions and protect air quality. In the U.S., air emissions have dropped 73% since 1970, while energy consumption has increased by 44%, according to EPA data.

The oil and natural gas industry supports scientific research that improves understanding of the climate. To that end, we recognize the need to reduce all emissions, including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Companies consistently implement and improve innovative practices and technology while continuing to bolster research that looks for new ways to minimize environmental impacts. In addition, we monitor,  compile and report emissions data per government regulations, conduct studies with academic institutions and work closely with state and federal regulators.

Our industry has also invested substantially in infrastructure like pipelines to transport oil and natural gas in order to reduce truck usage and their subsequent emissions in and around our operations. Equipment and hardware are consistently monitored and replaced with more efficient and effective parts. Companies use low-emission diesel or clean-burning natural gas to power sites when possible, and in some instances, solar is used to power operational sites.

Protecting Natural Resources Through Responsible Water Managment 

Oil and natural gas falls under “Mining”

Our industry takes a proactive water-management approach. We continually assess the availability of water, design judicious plans for usage, develop conservation technology and conduct inspections to ensure well integrity. This is done by applying the best technology and science to our wells.

Before commencing any operations, our industry takes precautionary measures so we can be good stewards of our natural resources. Before drilling, seismic tests and surveys are conducted to determine if aquifers are present and if so, exactly where they sit. Typically, water aquifers are several hundred feet below the surface of the earth.  When drilling a well, companies use multiple layers of steel and cement to provide structural integrity and completely seal the well and surrounding formation from one another. These casings extend several hundred feet below the aquifers, adding several layers of protection.

Finding opportunities to reduce water usage is a key priority for our industry.  The primary use for water in oil and natural gas development is the in the drilling and completion phases of operations. The amount of water usage depends on a number of factors including basin and geography. Click here to learn more about hydraulic fracturing.

At all steps in the oil and natural gas development process, water levels and quality around the area are identified, benchmarked, monitored and reported in accordance with local, state and federal environmental and water protection regulations.

Preserving Wildlife Habitats Through Species Mitigation

Whether operating onshore or offshore, the industry is committed to protecting and preserving some of the most complex and diverse habitats on earth. Our industry works with wildlife groups and government agencies like the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to develop plans and protocols for protecting wildlife.  This type of collaboration has resulted in improved habitat and species health.

Our industry works diligently with many stakeholder groups to understand migration patterns and routes in areas where we operate. Companies adapt operations to avoid impacts on these animal movements and habitats. We recognize the importance of protecting and maintaining these historic migrations, and our industry is committed to protecting wildlife and its habitat.