Douglas Westwood Says the Oil Industry Needs a Common Voice

Douglas-Westwood (DW), a UK-headquartered provider of energy business strategy, research and commercial due-diligience services, explained why "The Oil Industry Needs a Common Voice" in its latest edition of DW Monday.

DW Monday: The Oil Industry Needs a Common Voice

There is a major gap between the realities of oil & gas and the public understanding of its fundamental importance to society. To many, filling the SUV (sport utility vehicle) is just a tax on driving and natural gas an overpriced monthly charge on home ownership. Few realize the sheer scale of the industry, its huge financial commitment and the dedication of the people involved in its day-to-day operations. Oilman, like banker, has become a dirty word. 

All too often the reasons for the industry to make the headlines are the very negative ones, such as the human and environmental tragedy of Macondo and long before that the recently commemorated Piper Alpha disaster

But there are another group of less tragic but headline-grabbing events such as Brent Spar, Arctic drilling and fracking. What links these is the PR (public relations) power of the anti-oil NGO (non governmental organization) protagonists, multi-national organizations taking the high ground with combinations of publically appealing arguments and direct action against the dirty polluting oil industry. There is little public realization that the oil companies do not want to drill in the Arctic or ultra deepwater or frac thousands of wells all of which are very high cost operations. The only reason this is happening is that there is nowhere else left to go to get the fuels we all depend on. But we live in an age of instant information which lacks analysis and where headlines are sensationalized to grab attention, not inform.

To proactively counter the negative perceptions, the global oil & gas industry needs an association to collectively address the educational requirement and lead stakeholder engagement across the energy sector. Today we have too many peripheral industry groups that lack impact on a national level let alone worldwide. The organizations that the industry is competing against for influence pool their global resources and unite in message and approach. It’s going to be very hard for the industry to ever be presented effectively if it doesn’t operate in the same way.


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Ben Lehr | Apr. 21, 2014
I am in agreement that the Oil & Gas industry needs a single voice to present to the general public. At this time we have so many uninformed groups with very little concept of our industry talking out against the Oil & Gas industry. I would like to see an education system that teaches the facts about all industries including a safety program then when a student continues they can major in Mining, oil, forestry etc. Just some food for thought.

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