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Why drilling safety standards can be crucial during negotiation

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2024 | Oil & Gas Law

Drilling is an essential part of any work in the oil and gas industry. Hydraulic fracturing and well-related construction can be necessary to make these resources accessible and usable.

However, before operations can begin, the organization may need to reach an agreement with specific parties, including property owners and other entities. During negotiations, outlining and discussing drilling safety measures or standards may help everybody get on the same page concerning vital matters, such as regulatory compliance considering the work necessary and other details of the operation.

Addressing drilling hazards appropriately

In Oklahoma, some operators conduct oil and natural gas extraction near residential communities. To help keep residents safe, the industry has safety measures at drilling sites to mitigate risks, such as water contamination and air pollution.

During the natural gas and hydraulic fracturing process, hazardous chemicals may travel through cracks in the ground. The stray contaminants can get to an underground drinking water source, compromising the health of the people nearby. Spilled chemicals from trucks for well development operations may also contaminate water.

Meanwhile, drilling activities involving combustion may lead to air pollution. Burning excess natural gas or transporting materials using diesel trucks may also negatively impact air quality.

Implementing safety precautions can help protect property owners, nearby communities and workers on site. Without the proper safety measures, they may become vulnerable to the following risks:

  • Chemical spill exposure: Accidental spills may expose workers to hazardous chemical compounds.
  • Sand inhalation: During the hydraulic fracturing process, they may breathe in fine particles of sand, which may harm the lungs.
  • Flowback hazards: Some substances in flowback fluids, such as volatile hydrocarbons, are highly toxic. Exposure to high concentrations of the compound may even be fatal.

Fortunately, it is possible to reduce the risk of exposure to these toxic materials by implementing safety guidelines properly.

Demonstrate your commitment to safety

Openly communicating about the drilling process and other safety measures may help reduce conflicts during negotiations and when setting expectations. With adequate legal guidance and effective coordination, the organization can make strategic decisions that may be mutually agreeable for all involved parties.