With increasing O&G exploration and production activities taking place, there are various concerns about how environmental issues are being addressed. Industry is making great strides in the protection of the environment, however challenges still exist. Matters involving air, water, site, waste management, biodiversity, and community disturbances potentially alarm citizens who may not understand that numerous environmentally friendlier technologies and practices are currently being developed and used to address such areas. Several operators go beyond what is required, taking steps to lessen impacts.
The Environmentally Friendly Drilling (EFD) Program provides unbiased science to identify and demonstrate technologies and practices designed to address environmental and societal issues. The EFD Scorecard was created as a voluntary, consensus-based tool that measures how industry addresses these issues. It has been tested on various sites in different ecosystems across North America. These review processes helped identify additional attributes to consider, ensuring all relevant information is being examined.
The Scorecard methodology is designed to document how issues affecting stakeholders are being addressed. The intended result is to provide an adaptive ecosystem services management tool to assist operating companies in planning and implementing good practices. It can be used to objectively assess operators’ environmental performance. Industry can gain powerful insight in relaying their efforts at addressing environmental issues throughout E&P operations. As oil and gas activity continues to grow, a tool to measure and share the performance and commitment of operators can help allay unease about transparency. Benchmarking best management practices in action and making such data available can also provide the necessary improvement in communication with all stakeholders.
This paper will describe a tool for operators to help improve communication with all stakeholders and assist in ongoing relationships with regulators. Whereas the O&G industry has fallen short on remaining in touch with the communities surrounding operations, the EFD Scorecard will provide the unbiased data in understandable and approachable terminology that has been vetted by industry, environmental groups, academia and NGO's. Communicating the measures taken by industry in terms relevant to all stakeholders is crucial to earning not only a license to operate, but also, an invitation to operate.