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Oil industry monitors and responds to impact

Posted 1/26/11 (Wed)


BISMARCK, ND - A new study released today reveals the petroleum industry is monitoring and responding to the impact of oil and natural gas development in North Dakota. 

Commissioned by the North Dakota Petroleum Council (NDPC), the study reflects a commitment by the industry to listen and address the needs arising from oil development in the state. The study is part of the OilCan! program, an industry-sponsored effort started in 2007 to fulfill three guiding principles: listen first, develop partnerships and respect all stakeholders.

“Over the past three years, our OilCan! Program has also sponsored dozens of town hall meetings and community events, as well as created a valuable interactive website (www.ndoil.org) to connect with the public” said Terry Kovacevich, North Dakota asset manager at Marathon Oil Corporation and vice chair of the North Dakota Petroleum Council Board of Directors.

The newly-released study, a statewide phone survey, was conducted jointly by Minot State University and other researchers to assess public perceptions and attitudes regarding the petroleum industry. Nearly nine out of 10 survey respondents (87%) agree that the oil and natural gas industry provides positive benefits to the people of the state. Furthermore, the respondents graded the industry an overall B+ on its role as a responsible corporate citizen.

“We’re pleased that the majority of the public recognizes the positive impact oil development brings to the state,” said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. It’s also gratifying to know that oil and natural gas companies are being viewed as good neighbors during this dramatic growth period.”

The phone survey also asked North Dakota residents to identify issues and concerns relating to oil activity in the state. Traffic and road safety received the highest rating of concern. Other top rated issues included oil tax revenue disbursement, mineral owner rights and environmental protection.

“The industry is intent on listening and responding to the needs arising from oil development,” said Ness. “As evidence of this commitment, petroleum companies are investing over $3.5 billion in new pipeline and processing projects to transport oil and natural gas, thereby reducing truck traffic and the related wear and tear on our roads.”

According to the North Dakota Pipeline Authority, there are three major pipeline projects currently underway in western North Dakota that could remove an estimated 1,100 truckloads of oil per day. This will have a significant impact on reducing truck traffic and road deterioration.

“This study provides vital information regarding the key issues surrounding the dramatic growth in oil and natural gas activity,” said Kovacevich. To address these issues, our OilCan! program has established 13 different industry task forces to tackle everything from safety and workforce education to the environment and land owner rights. We are committed to conducing oil development activities in a conscientious and responsible manner. ”

The full study can be viewed online at www.ndoil.org.

Contact: Ron Ness, President, (701) 223-6380

An overwhelming majority (87%) either agree or strongly agree that the oil industry provides positive benefits to the people of North Dakota.

Majority (72%) either agree or strongly agree that the oil industry in ND takes appropriate steps to protect the environment.

Majority (52%) either agree or strongly agree that the oil industry in ND should be taxed at a rate that is comparable to the taxes charged by other oil-producing states.