Report highlights how oil and gas industry benefits communities

By Patrick C. Miller | June 06, 2017

A new report from the American Petroleum Institute (API) outlines how the nation’s oil and gas industry not only provides economic prosperity to communities, but also safety and environmental benefits.

The 64-page report covers such topics as safety, reducing emissions, prioritizing responsible development, transparency and community engagement. Information from a wide variety of government, private and industry resources was used to compile the report.

Marty Durbin, API executive vice president and chief strategy officer, said the ways in which energy development enhances communities isn’t often recognized.

“America’s natural gas and oil industry is committed to producing more energy while reducing our footprint and improving the efficiency and safety of our operations and helping local communities where we operate,” he said.

On the topic of methane emissions reductions, the report notes that since 1990, emissions from natural gas systems have dropped 16.3 percent while natural gas production has increased 53 percent. Methane emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells dropped 59 percent between 1990 and 2015.

The report says that despite the public perception that hydraulic fracturing is new, it has been used for more than seven decades on more than 2 million oil and natural gas wells. “Expert consensus agrees fracking can be and is done safely. New technologies that allow operators and regulators an even better idea of what is happening deep below the surface have only strengthened these safeguards,” the API report concludes.

The report covers the oil and gas industry’s commitment to safety, emphasizing that 99.99 percent of crude oil deliveries by rail reach their destinations without incident. The injury rate in the U.S. refining industry fell 57 percent between 2006 and 2015.

“America’s natural gas and oil industry provides the affordable, reliable energy that is the lifeblood of our economy, and we understand that the nation’s prosperity fundamentally relies on our industry’s ability to produce more of these resources in a way that promotes safety, benefits our communities and values environmental stewardship,” Durbin said.