The oil and gas trade group API has published a first-of-its-kind industry standard for community engagement in areas of the country where horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have opened new energy development opportunities.
“America’s energy revolution is creating millions of jobs and reenergizing communities from coast to coast,” said API director of standards David Miller. “The energy revolution is now occurring in areas of the country where oil and natural gas exploration doesn’t have the same history as Texas or Oklahoma. API’s community engagement guidelines will serve as a gold standard for good neighbor policies that address community concerns, enhance the long-term benefits of local development, and ensure a two-way conversation regarding mutual goals for community growth.”
Dubbed ANSI/API Bulletin 100-3, the standard provides a detailed list of steps that oil and natural gas companies can take to help local leaders and residents prepare for energy exploration, minimize interruption to the community and manage resources. The “good neighbor” standard includes recommendations for how to conduct public meetings on safety, work with local educational institutions to discuss training for new job opportunities, develop relationships with mineral owners and ensure that oil and gas production is done in way that complements community goals.
“Like all our guidelines on hydraulic fracturing, the new standard will be available for free on our website and shared with regulators at every level of government,” Miller said. “Our standard will provide a roadmap for oil and natural gas operators seeking to build lasting, successful relationships with local residents wherever energy development takes place. It incorporates best practices and proven models that have been developed by industry participants over more than 65 years of safe, responsible hydraulic fracturing.”
API first began publishing standards in 1924 and currently has more than 650 standards and technical publications. More than 100 of them have been incorporated into U.S. regulations, and they are the most widely cited industry standards by international regulators. The program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the same body that accredits programs at several national laboratories.