Powerful Chemistries Pair Attractive Returns With Environmental Gains
According to a survey by Ipsos, only 22% of the world’s population considers the oil and gas industry trustworthy. Although oil and gas ranks above the government and traditional media, the low rating still may frustrate workers who see the steps the industry takes every day to improve safety, protect the environment and support local communities.
For context, even the technology sector, which garnered the most trustworthy rating, received that designation from only 34% of respondents. Despite intense media scrutiny and concerns about climate change, the report indicates the global public is “more likely to be neutral towards oil and gas companies than have an opinion about the sector’s trustworthiness; 22% find sector brands trustworthy and 34% untrustworthy, but (44%) sit somewhere in the middle.”
Noting that the industry’s ratings for all trust drivers improved between 2018 and 2021, Ipsos says that pool of undecided people may move to “trustworthy” if the industry continues to exceed expectations.
In a world where the phrase “environment, social and governance” has become ubiquitous, the industry has more opportunities than ever to highlight its good deeds. Today, those good deeds–which often provide both economic and environmental benefits–range from chemical program tweaks to intense research to expand produced water recycling and help conserve freshwater in arid regions.
“Environmental performance has become a more common topic of discussion among the stakeholders we represent,” says Kevin Duncan, vice president of operations for U.S. Energy Development Corp. “They want to put capital in companies that are mindful of the environment, so we make a point to emphasize that we have an ISO-certified environmental management system.”
While it is committed to stewardship and sustainability, Duncan stresses that U.S. Energy’s primary goal is to generate returns for its stakeholders. He notes that the company is relatively small, with 50 wells in South Texas, several Wolfcamp horizontals, eight Mississippi Lime horizontals and various stripper wells scattered across New Mexico.
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