Protect and Respect People
We are committed to protecting the health and safety of neighboring communities and our workers and contractors.
It is our collective goal to eliminate all injuries, occupational illnesses, unsafe practices and incidents of environmental harm from our activities. We believe that our work is never so urgent or important that we cannot take the time to do it safely and in an environmentally responsible manner. Our SPIRIT values – Safety, People, Integrity, Responsibility, Innovation and Teamwork – inspire all our actions and confirm that safety is core to how we operate.
For example, in the South Texas counties that comprise the vast Eagle Ford shale play, we promote a safety culture through comprehensive employee training and collaboration with local emergency planning officials and first responders. “It’s all about leadership, communication and preparation,” says Kurt Paton, our Health, Safety and Environment supervisor for the region.
Our employees and contractors participate in “tailgate” job site safety meetings that are designed to identify and mitigate hazards associated with their roles. Tools employed to help analyze the safety of each operation and procedures to follow include quick-reference cards. “Stop-the-job” authority is a critical safety component, and all personnel have both the right and responsibility to stop any operation, without personal reproach, if they feel the task, operation or current process at hand is unsafe.
We prepare detailed emergency response plans that specify steps to take depending upon the type of emergency and list the names and phone numbers of personnel and contractors to call. Municipal representatives, including local police and volunteer firefighters, join in mock drills simulating conditions requiring an emergency response. ConocoPhillips also has a highly trained emergency response team ready to respond to incidents wherever we operate around the world.
Oil and natural gas exploration and development occurs where the reserves are located, and sometimes that is near urban hubs. For example, the Barnett shale play extends to both urban and rural settings in the Greater Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, area. We are working with home and property owners, ranchers and farmers as well as local city and county governmental authorities to ensure that our operations meet or exceed regulatory requirements, honor the terms of contracts and incorporate applicable industry standards and guidelines. Our field operations personnel use noise-abatement walls and other sound-control measures on our facilities and also assess and mitigate visual impacts. In some cases, that entails using low-profile storage tanks and installing them several feet below grade to meet height standards. Our facilities are carefully planned and designed to achieve high efficiency and safety.
ConocoPhillips works to promote understanding of its operations, engage and contribute positively to communities and minimize development impacts.
Cooperation in Action
Transparency and community engagement are integral to our business philosophy. When we wanted to acquire land in DeWitt County, Texas, for rights of way for pipelines serving new wells, landowners understandably had questions. Local employees had a solution: bring families together for an informational question-and-answer session.
About 150 landowners, many with their children in tow, learned about the project and how it could affect them. “It was a very interactive meeting and a great way to start building relationships,” says Dana Sigalos, our stakeholder relations manager. “We learned a lot from our discussion and were able to increase the community’s understanding of our approach.”
ConocoPhillips supports the disclosure of information about the chemical additives used in fracturing fluids. FracFocus.org has information on specific wells drilled in the United States and British Columbia. We voluntarily began submitting data about the company’s wells shortly after the website was established by the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission in 2011.
With significant operations on or near Native American reservations in the American Southwest and First Nation communities in Canada, we respect the traditional values and culture of indigenous communities. For example, to protect archeological artifacts and sacred land, we conduct environmental and cultural assessments to help select suitable and appropriate locations for drill pads and new wells.