Public Perception of the Oil and GasIndustry: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Proceedings of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Annual TechnicalConference and Exhibition

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Data collected in a general population survey from a random sample of individuals in Tarrant County, Texas, were used to empirically explore issues associated with public perception of the natural gas industry. In addition, the association of public perception of the energy industry with dependent measures such as individual-level actions that (a) may or may not have been taken and/or (b) may or may not be taken in response to the exploration and production of natural gas was investigated. Echoing findings from research in two neighboring Barnett Shale counties (Theodori 2009), it appears that members of the general public in Tarrant County distrust the intrusion of the gas industry and dislike certain potentially problematic social and/or environmental issues perceived to accompany development. Conversely, these same Tarrant County residents appreciate and view less negatively the economic and/or service-related benefits that tend to result from such development. Furthermore, the results of this study suggest that the social/environmental perceptual variable is a key factor to explaining past behaviors and predicting future behaviors taken in response to the exploration and production of natural gas. Possible implications of these findings for the energy industry are proposed.


Originally published by SPE in the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.

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