Stakeholder Engagement, Communication, and Planning
This early stage is an opportune time to initiate communication channels and information sharing between the company and the community. Regardless of the company’s plans, it is important for company representatives to work with local governments to plan for the eventual closure of the project from the outset. Anticipating the company’s withdrawal from the area helps to reduce the risks and maximize the benefits to the community. 1
How can I identify an industry partner?
Given that there can be a number of oil and gas operators and their contractors working in a particular area, it can be difficult for local stakeholders to identify appropriate industry partners. The API Community Engagement Guidelines urge operators to coordinate among themselves to engage with community stakeholders. 2 Some oil and gas companies regularly engage with communities as a part of their operations. Local officials or community leaders seeking to engage the industry could first contact the state regulator to obtain contact information for a particular company’s regulatory manager (company contact information is also available on the regulatory permit). The manager has the ability to help identify the appropriate point of contact internally—for larger companies, it could be the communications representative or community liaison, and for smaller ones it could be an operations or exploration manager.