Hardly a day goes by when the search for and production of oil and gas onshore isn't in the news - where it is consistently referred to by the media as 'controversial', especially since shale gas hit the headlines in 2011.
Although it is only one small part of the process, 'fracking' has become a catch-all term used to describe the extraction of hydrocarbons from under our feet and campaigners have worked hard to try and make it synonymous with environmental damage.
As a result, communities are reluctant to host new onshore oil and gas developments. 32% of respondents in our national survey said this was the kind of infrastructure they'd least want built near them. This has been made worse by the fact that Government has stepped-in to award planning permission on appeal in one instance, stoking fears about a loss of local decision-making, and the erosion of local democracy.
Successful stakeholder engagement therefore requires developers to be open about potential risks and to do more to help local people see them in context. It also means going beyond the public consultation expectations of planning authorities by adopting a 'residents first' approach to communications.
To get help with stakeholder engagement and community relations for your next onshore oil and gas project, simply email theteam [at] 52Mconsulting.com